How did the Celebration of International Women's Day Begin? Is it a Celebration or a Protest?

International Women’s Day is celebrated internationally on March 8. It aims to create awareness about the importance of women and motivate people to take steps to prevent violence against women. You may have heard about International Women’s Day in the media or from friends, but what is it for? When does this happen? Is it a celebration or a protest? Is there an international men’s day too? And what events will be held to mark the occasion this year? For almost a century, people have celebrated March 8 as a special day for women.

How did it start?

International Women’s Day began as a labor movement and is now an annual day recognized by the United Nations. The day began in New York City in 1908 when 15,000 women marched for shorter work hours, better wages and the right to vote. Later that year, the Socialist Party of America celebrated the first National Women’s Day. A year later, the Socialist Party of America proclaimed the first National Women’s Day, but the idea to internationalize it first came to Clara Zetkin, a communist and women’s rights activist. She presented this idea at the International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen in 1910. There were 100 women from 17 countries who unanimously supported it. It was first celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland in 1911.

How did the Celebration of International Women's Day Begin? Is it a Celebration or a Protest?
Clara Zetkin, A Communist and Women’s Rights Activist

Its century was celebrated in 2011. So, technically this year we are going to celebrate the 112th International Women’s Day. International Women’s Day was officially recognized in 1975 when the United Nations also started celebrating it. The first theme chosen by the United Nations in 1996 was ‘Celebrating the Past and Planning for the Future’. Today, International Women’s Day has become a day to celebrate the advancement of women in society, politics and the economy, while the political roots behind it are to raise awareness about the inequality between women and men, which still persists. By organizing strikes and demonstrations.

Why the date of March 8?

Clara had not chosen a specific date for International Women’s Day. This date was not even set until 1917 when Russian women went on strike during the First World War with demands for ‘bread and peace’ and after four days the Russian leader had to resign and women were given the provisional right to vote. . The day the women’s strike began in Russia was February 23 in the Julian calendar, which is March 8 in the current calendar, and is therefore celebrated today.

Why do people wear purple?

International Women’s Day colors include purple, green and white. Purple is a symbol of justice and dignity. Green represents hope. White is held for purity however this is somewhat controversial. These colors originated from the Women’s Social and Political Union in Britain in 1908.

How is International Women’s Day celebrated?

International Women’s Day is a national holiday in many countries, including Russia, where flower sales double in the three to four days around March 8. In China, women are given half a day off by the government, but many companies do not give this leave to their employees. Mimosa blossoms are given on this day in Austria, Italy. No one knows how this tradition started, but it is said to have started in Rome after World War II. In the United States, the month of March is celebrated as Women’s History Month. A presidential proclamation is also made in this regard, in which the achievements of women throughout the year are honored.

What is the theme of International Women’s Day this year?

The UN theme for International Women’s Day 2023 is ‘Digital All: Invention and Technology for Gender Equality’. It aims to recognize and celebrate the contributions of girls and women in the fields of technology and online education. On International Women’s Day this year, the impact of the digital gender gap on inequality for women and girls will also be investigated as the UN estimates that if women’s lack of access to the online world is not addressed So the gross domestic product of low and middle income countries will be lost by one and a half trillion dollars. However, there are other issues under discussion on International Women’s Day this year. The International Women’s Day website says it is created as a platform for women to make positive change. This website has chosen #EmbraceEquity as its theme. Through associated organizations and programs, voices will be raised to challenge stereotypical gender roles of women, speak out against discrimination, draw attention to prejudice and involve women in all sectors.

Why is women’s day important?

Over the past year, women in many countries such as Afghanistan, Iran, Ukraine and the United States have been fighting for their rights amid war, violence and policy changes in their countries. The return of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan has halted progress on human rights. Because women and girls are prevented from pursuing higher education. They are prohibited from doing most work outside the home and from traveling long distances without a male guardian. The Taliban have ordered women to cover their entire faces outside the home or in front of other people. Meanwhile, after the death of a 22-year-old woman named Mahsa Amini, protests erupted in Iran, which are still ongoing.

Many women and men in Iran are now demanding better rights for women. They also want a change in the current political leadership. The slogan of these protesters is ‘Women, Life, Freedom’. On February 24, 2022, the Russian army invaded Ukraine. According to a United Nations report, since the start of the war, the gap between women and men in Ukraine regarding food shortages, malnutrition, and poverty has widened. Incidents of violence have increased tremendously. On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the landmark law that gave American women the right to have an abortion.

After the Supreme Court’s decision, there were noises and protests against it across the United States. Many American women are choosing to travel to Mexico for abortions because of a landmark decision in 2021 that legalized abortion in Mexico. However, the condition of women has also improved during the last few years. After a ten-year struggle, the European Parliament passed a law in November 2022. It will ensure greater representation of women on the boards of publicly traded companies by 2026. The EU said: ‘There are many women who deserve to be in top positions and with our new European law we can do that. will ensure that these women have a real chance to reach these positions’. Meanwhile, laws regarding paternity leave have also been changed in Armenia and Colombia. At the same time, Spain has passed laws to increase menstrual health leave and abortion facilities. The International Olympic Committee reported that the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing were the most gender-balanced. 45% of the total players involved in these sports were female players.

Although gender equality between men and women has not been achieved completely. However, the new guidelines encouraged balanced reporting of women’s sports. But, a question arises that whether celebrating a day in someone’s name gives him all his rights? As nowadays Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Children’s Day, Teacher’s Day, Labor Day, etc. are celebrated only on one day, whereas these are all relationships whose importance always demands their own rights. A woman is an object that in determining the status of people in every era, in order to show their mental thinking, they have tried to give it some form, until it was given the form of a goddess and sometimes it was By not tolerating the rise or respectable position of the woman, she was brought to the extreme of degradation and in the name of religion, she was made to walk around naked and sometimes she was brought to offices, factories and shops with the slogan of social equality, women’s freedom. erected and the poor woman continued to be deceived in every round. It should be noted that on the occasion of Women’s Day, conferences and workshops are organized throughout Austria and around the world, in which women are reiterated to have equal rights.

Is there an International Men’s Day?

Yes, of course! November 19 is International Men’s Day, but it started in the 1990s and is not recognized by the United Nations, but is celebrated in 80 countries, including the UK. According to its organizers, “the day is a celebration of the positive impact men are making in this world, in their families and communities,” and aims to improve gender relations.