International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated annually on March 8th around the world.
It is a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It aims to raise awareness of the ongoing struggle for gender equality.
The day also serves as a call to action to continue the fight for women’s rights and to promote equal opportunities for them.
History of International Women’s Day
The origins of International Women’s Day date back to the early 1900s, when the Socialist Party of America declared a National Women’s Day in 1909.
Amidst deplorable working conditions and exploitation in 1908, 15,000 women staged a protest in New York. They demanded improved wages, reduced working hours, and voting rights.
In the following year, the Socialist Party of America declared a National Women’s Day to commemorate the strikers.
In 1910, the idea went global when the Socialist International proposed a Women’s Day to advocate for suffrage.
The first International Women’s Day
At the International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen, Clara Zetkin proposed the establishment of an International Women’s Day to be celebrated on the same day each year.
The proposal was unanimously approved, and the first International Women’s Day was observed in 1911. Over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland celebrated the event.
United Nations and IWD
IWD was first officially celebrated by the United Nations in 1975, as it was designated the International Women’s Year.
Since then, the UN and numerous countries across the globe have annually observed the occasion. Every year, IWD celebration focuses on a particular theme or issue relating to women’s rights.
International Women’s Day theme 2023
The theme for International Women’s Day, (IWD 2023) is, “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”.
The theme is aligned with the priority theme for the upcoming 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW-67), “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”.
IWD 2023 campaign theme #EmbraceEquity
The #EmbraceEquity campaign for IWD 2023 aims to initiate conversations about why equal opportunities alone are insufficient.
Equity isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have.
A focus on gender equity needs to be part of every society’s DNA.www.internationalwomensday.com
International Women’s Day in India
In India, International Women’s Day is celebrated with great enthusiasm and zeal. The day is observed as a national holiday, and various events and activities are organized to mark the occasion. Women’s groups and organizations hold rallies, seminars, and conferences to discuss women’s issues and promote gender equality.
The Indian government also takes active participation in the celebrations, and various initiatives are launched to empower women and promote their rights.
In 2015, the Indian government launched the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (Save the Daughter, Educate the Daughter) campaign to promote gender equality and improve the welfare of girls.
One of the most significant achievements in recent years for women’s rights in India is the passing of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.
In conclusion, International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate the achievements of women and to call for continued action to promote gender equality.
The theme for International Women’s Day 2023 is, “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”. The theme emphasizes the importance of challenging gender bias and inequality. It also encourages individuals and organizations to take action to create a more inclusive world.