The past few decades have witnessed women making rapid strides in all walks of life. Today, the role of women is no longer confined to only household chores. Today, they have breached the male bastions and have come to occupy top positions in the corporate and government sector. Some adventurous and bold women have gone on to join the military forces to serve their motherland. Thus, on March 8 every year, women are felicitated across the globe for their achievements in the political, social, economic, and cultural fields. In 2018, the theme for International Women’s Day is “Press for Progress”.
The origin of Women’s Day
The origin of Women’s Day dates back to the early 20th century. The year 1908 witnessed women in New York, the United States, holding massive demonstrations where they demanded better working conditions and pay and equal voting rights. To honor the struggle made by the women for their equal status in society, the Socialist Party of America declared February 28, 1909, as Women’s Day.
The movement for equality by the women of New York served as an inspiration for women from around the world and in August 1910, at a meeting held in Copenhagen, Denmark, a proposal was put forth to declare a day as International Women’s Day. The meeting was attended by more than 100 women from 17 countries. However, the date for observing International Women’s Day was not decided. The International Women’s Day was observed for the first time on March 19, 2011, in Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, and Austria. Thereafter, Women’s Day gained popularity in many nations around the world and was marked by celebrations. But, from 1975 onwards, the United Nations began observing International Women’s Day on March 8. In the year 1977, the United Nations General Assembly called upon the member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for Women’s Rights and World Peace.
Why is Women’s Day observed?
Women’s Day is the most important day for women from around the world as it honors the struggles that they have initiated to achieve an equal status in society. To make the people aware of the problems being faced by women, a number of programs such as skits, dramas, etc on issues like as female foeticide, gender inequality, domestic violence, child marriages, among others are held. Apart from creating awareness among people, these programs also encourage governments to launch programs aimed at the upliftment of the women. Thus, the day serves as a reminder of the struggles made by women in the past for the betterment of the generations to come.
Women’s Day is celebrated on a wide-scale across the globe. The day witnesses marches, rallies, discussions, events, art performances, etc. Festivities are held in many offices, while some companies also give their women employees a day off from work so that they can relax and enjoy to the fullest. Men also take the opportunity to show appreciation to the women in their life by gifting them presents. Many people also send online cards and messages to their mothers, sisters, friends, etc to show their love and affection.