International Women’s Day is celebrated March 8 every year as an ode to all the women across the world and to celebrate their achievements. Today even companies make special provisions and policies to ensure women are empowered to keep their best foot forward. The road to equal rights for women has been a difficult one and it started more than 100 years ago. Here are some lesser-known facts about International Women’s day
- The day was originally called International Working Women’s Day and was first celebrated on 28 February in 1909. This was to commemorate a strike that happened a year ago in 1908 which saw a whopping 15,000 women workers from the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union. These women included even immigrants from many parts of the world and came to organize the march in New York. The women organized the March for equal social and political rights.
- The first-ever official international women’s day was celebrated 4 years after the first one in 1914. The day was March 8 because it was a Sunday and maximum working women had the day off to march in the city and organize activities for spreading awareness. The day has been celebrated as International Women’s Day ever since.
- The day was named a holiday in the Soviet Union in 1917. It was celebrated in most socialist movements and communist countries before UN went ahead and adapted it in 1977. UN officially recognized 8 March of each year as a day dedicated to women. Now, since 1996, the UN gives a theme to each year’s IWD. This year’s theme is “Press for Progress.”
- The UN specifies and defines International Women’s Day as “a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. It is an occasion for looking back on past struggles and accomplishments, and more importantly, for looking ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women.
- The amazing fact is that many countries have declared this day as a holiday which includes Vietnam, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Zambia, and Mongolia. There are other countries that give the holiday only for women and this list includes Nepal, China, and Madagascar.
It is true women are an important part of the world, half of the human population on this planet comprises of women. It is therefore imaginable that the contribution that each and every woman will bring to the society will double the level at which we are today. Accepting them as equals and ensuring no discrimination can lead to a healthy economic, social and collective world.
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