Celebrated across the globe, International Women’s Day is considered to be an important event wherein the achievements of theirs is appreciated – be it personal or professional and the idea of gender equality is promoted. The event is celebrated annually on March 8 and is being celebrated since the 1900s.
On this day, offices, schools, government, NGOs, women empowerment bodies and charities come together for this cause and organize events, conferences, marches, networking events, rallies, talks, art performances, and whatnot. While International Women’s Day has become such a huge thing now, there was a time when it was not even a thing. Do you know how did it originated and the reason behind the same?
Well, if you don’t then we have got you covered as we are here all the information on the same. Scroll down for the details.
Women are called the weaker sex for ages now and although the situation has changed a lot now, women in the past have faced social pressures, domestic violence, rapes, and judgements without rebelling against the same until the 1900s when IWD aka International Women’s Day came into being.
The actual origin of the event is still unknown but if we go by the popular stories behind its initiation, then it started sometime in 1908 when, in New York, 15,000 took over the streets of the Big Apple and marched, demanding shorter working hours, better pay and voting rights.
A year after that, in 1909, the US observed its first Women’s day on the national level on February 28, post a declaration made by America’s Socialist Party regarding the same.
Taking it to the next level was Clara Zetkin who was Germany’s Social Democratic Party’s ‘women office’s’ leader. She was the one who brought the idea of International Women’s Day on the table. According to her, each and every country should participate in the celebration of women annually to give their demands a push.
This idea, later, was presented in a conference that was attended by over 100 women hailing from over 15 countries who gave a nod to this suggestion and that is how the event of International Women’s Day came into being.
It was in 1911, IWD was observed for the first time on March 19 in countries like Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, and Austria. 2 years later, in 1913, March 8 was zeroed in as the date to celebrate the event annually and it is being celebrated on this day ever since. However, it took the UN 62 years to recognize it, which it finally did in 1975. It has been setting a theme for the event every year since then.
But that is not it, in the year as recent as 2011, the then President of the US, Barack Obama, gave a historical proclamation according to which March became ‘Women’s History Month’.
As of now, there have been several themes for Women's Day celebration over the years. And, this year too, the UN has given one, which is #EachForEqual to spread awareness on gender equality among the masses. It is to recognise and understand that, as an individual, the decisions we take will celebrate the achievements of women, fight prejudices and challenge the stereotypes.
This year is quite important for gender equality as 2020 marks the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action’s 25th anniversary. For the unversed, it is known to be the best blueprint to date in order to establish gender equality across the globe. 2020 also marks 10 years of UN Women’s establishment and UN Security Council resolution 1325 on security, peace and women’s 20th anniversary.
In 2019, #BalanceForBetter was the theme which aimed at promoting gender balance in wealth, media as well as boardrooms as a way for thriving economies.
It is often said that International Women’s Day every year has a different theme colour, which is not at all true. The only colour that represents IWD is purple which has been recognized internationally for the same reason. According to the website of IWD, the combination of colours such as white, purple and green symbolize woman equality.
Well, that was all the much-needed information on International Women’s Day. Got some more questions? Ask us the same in the comments section below and we would be elated to answer the same!
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