March 8th is recognized as International Women's Day. It is more than just a day for businesses to promote deals for women. Learn more about the origins, significance, and importance of International Women's Day by reading on.
National Women's Day was established in New York on February 28, 1909 by the Socialist Party of America, inspired by city-wide demonstrations by garment workers. At a later gathering, German delegates proposed the idea of a women's day, influenced by American socialists, but no specific date was agreed upon. Clara Zetkin, an advocate for women's rights, proposed the idea of an international women's day at the second International Congress of Working Women in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1910. Attendees from 17 nations, including Finland's first three female MPs, unanimously supported the proposal. The first International Women's Day was celebrated in March 1911, and the date was later set as March 8 in 1913.
The UN recognized International Women's Day in 1975, and in 1977, the General Assembly proclaimed March 8 as International Women's Day, recognizing the importance of women's rights and world peace. The UN has celebrated this day every year since then, highlighting a different topic each year. International Women's Day is a significant event that acknowledges women's achievements, promotes gender equality, and raises funds for various charities that support women.
Over the years, International Women's Day has evolved into a platform for women to voice their concerns and drive progress. It has shed light on various issues, including gender-based violence, pay disparities, limited access to healthcare and education, and women's underrepresentation in leadership and political roles. The advancements made toward women's rights worldwide are a significant accomplishment of International Women's Day. Women have gained the right to vote in many countries, and anti-discrimination laws in the workplace have been established. More girls are attending school and receiving medical care, resulting in significant progress in education and healthcare.
However, women still face significant obstacles in the form of poverty, violence, and discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Women's perspectives are frequently disregarded in discussions about laws affecting their lives, and they are underrepresented in economic and political decision-making. Observing International Women's Day reminds us of the need for continuous advocacy and action on behalf of women. It is a call to action for individuals and organizations to unite in building a society where women are respected, empowered, and given the opportunity to succeed. By raising awareness of the challenges women face and working towards a constructive change, we can create a better future for generations to come.
The theme for International Women’s Day 2023 is, "DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality". The goal for the 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW-67), "Innovation and technological transformation, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls," is in line with this.
António Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations (UN), presented the General Assembly with his agenda for 2023. He said,
"In addition to being a fundamental human right, gender equality offers a solution to many of the world's most pressing problems." But the most pervasive violation of human rights in modern times prevents half of mankind from progressing. "
He further added,
"The issue of gender equality is one of power. The patriarchy, which has centuries of power behind it, is making a comeback. The United Nations is responding and defending the rights of women and girls around the world."
International Women's Day is observed in a large number of countries around the world. On this day, women are honored for their accomplishments regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, language, culture, profession, or political affiliation. The purpose of International Women’s Day includes:
Acknowledgment: Women's contributions and achievements often go unnoticed, and it is crucial to acknowledge and celebrate their accomplishments.
Support: Women still face significant challenges such as discrimination, violence, and unequal access to opportunities. Wishing women on this day is a way of showing support and solidarity in the ongoing fight for gender equality.
Empowerment: By wishing women a happy International Women's Day, we can help to empower them and encourage them to continue to strive for their goals.
Representation: Women are often underrepresented in many fields, and wishing them on this day is a way of reminding them that they are seen, valued, and appreciated.