“Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women.” – Maya Angelou
As per the blog by UNESCO, International Women’s Day is an occasion in which women’s empowerment and progress are achieved for gender equality. This day reflects the momentum that people started to support this movement.
There are cultural shifts happening all over the world to embrace equality and give strength to women’s empowerment. However, we still need to do a lot in terms of gender parity, equal opportunities and equal rights for every woman.
This process can begin by creating a culture that inspires and encourages girls so that they grow up with hope, confidence and self-esteem. This will establish healthier families and relationships, strengthen global economies and cultures, benefiting society in the long run.
“Let’s Celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness against bias and take action for equality. Let’s help them contribute to developing our societies, economies, cultures, technologies, etc. Let’s empower them through all walks of life and give them equal opportunity to shape and reshape the world into a better place.”
It’s time to understand the history and relevance of women’s day and also learn certain interesting facts about the international women’s day.
Why is Women’s Day Celebrated?
Since the conference in 1910, women have been overcoming many battles and challenges to make their lives better. According to the data available on the international women’s day official website, women still have challenges to win like parity and non-exposure of women in government and other sectors.
Even the basic right to women’s education is still being denied in some countries and cultures. Hence a sustained campaign and awareness drive is essential to drive the point home precisely and unite people for this noble and essential cause.
Your small contribution that is to support women by educating them, treating them equally, including them in discussions & debates could be helpful. This day is also helpful in celebrating achievements and raising global issues about women.
Importance of International Women’s Day
International women’s day is celebrated globally as a tribute to acknowledge all the great achievements made by women in the social, economic, cultural, and political spheres. The purpose of celebrating international women’s day is to highlight women’s rights, dignity and equality in society.
It also focuses on other issues faced by women like gender parity, domestic violence, harassment, lack of education, etc. There are some colours that have been dedicated to the bold & beautiful women out there. The combination of purple, green and white that symbolized women’s equality, originated from the women’s social and political union in the UK in 1908. Purple signifies dignity & justice, green symbolizes hope and white for purity.
7 Interesting Facts About International Women’s Day
Words like strong and powerful cannot only define her existence. She is invincible and plays important roles in her life by being an engineer, politician, homemaker, teacher, doctor, caring mother, loyal partner & more. From her birth, she tries to make the world a better place to live in. Here are some of the facts that are associated while celebrating ‘her’ day –
- The Grand day originated more than a hundred years ago! You got that right. It all started with a protest in the year 1909 in America. When a group of people from a Socialist Party of the country marched on the streets to honour garment workers. The workers protested the year before against inhumane working conditions.
It took place on February 28 and was known to be National Women’s Day. In the next year, the Social International of Copenhagen established Women’s Day to celebrate women’s rights. Date March 19, 1911; countries such as Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland officially celebrated the first International Women’s Day.
Several rallies were conducted in these countries in which millions of people contributed to support women’s rights to education, to support their suffrage and more issues. After a few years, some countries in Europe marked the holiday on March 8. In 1975, the United Nations celebrated 8 March as an official holiday. And from then women’s day is celebrated as a special day across the globe to recognize women.
- In Some Places of the World, Women’s Day is Celebrated with Mother’s Day. Countries such as Serbia, Albania, Macedonia, and Uzbekistan celebrate women’s equality and also greet their mothers with gifts and appreciation. The day is an official holiday in the respective countries.
- Economic Growth of Each and Every Country Depends on How Much Educated a Woman is. Educated women can be an effective asset to a firm. According to data, companies experience more productivity and increased economic diversification. In more than 34 countries of the world, women contribute to around 50% of economic growth.
- Women can Invent Too! It’s amazing to know that Mary Anderson invented the windshield wiper in 1903. Other inventions by the intelligent lady were disposable diapers, paper bags, non-reflective glasses, foot-pedal trash cans, and dishwashers.
- Heels were the Men’s Cup of Tea. You will be surprised to know that women’s heels were introduced as footwear in the 1600s to copy men. Before that men used to wear heels resembling a sign of masculinity. Within a few years, women took over this fashion accessory and now they have entirely changed the fashion sense with this alluring footwear.
- Do You Know Who Started Computer Programming? A woman! Ada Lovelace recognized the language that can be understood by a computing machine. She is known to be the first computer programmer in the world.
- Every Year, The United Nations decides A Theme for the Great Day Celebrated for A Woman. The theme for the year 2022 is ‘Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: Water Unites Us’. This is to address the issues related to water that people of most countries are facing.
How to Celebrate International Women’s Day?
? Wishing a happy women’s day by sending meaningful messages online wishing harmony and peace for them in society. You can make it a special occasion for them by honouring mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues and respective females with fashion cards, flowers, chocolates and women’s styles.
? Plan events such as seminars, conferences, luncheons or dinners where women from all walks of life including political, community, business leaders, educators, inventors, entrepreneurs, television personalities, are usually invited to speak and share their experiences with people. The messages mainly focus on women’s empowerment, education and career opportunities.
? Educational institutions like schools and colleges also actively participate in special lessons, debates or presentations highlighting the role of women in society, their influence and relevant issues that affect them.
? Workplaces make special mentions through newsletters, notices or promotional materials focusing on the day.
Which Countries Have an Official Holiday?
The International Women’s Day is an official holiday in many countries including Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia.
The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries, IWD has the equivalent status of Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.
We have come a long way in enhancing the lives of millions of women around the globe. But still, not a single country can claim to have achieved gender equality. Multiple obstacles still challenge the pace of growth and development for women in some countries at the global level.
There is still a need to make further amendments in law and culture to create an unbiased opportunity for women as they can contribute more effectively to building societies. The year 2022 offers another golden opportunity to accelerate global actions to achieve gender equality and human rights for all women and girls worldwide.
From the words of Kavita N. Ramdas, “We need women who are so strong they can be gentle, so educated they can be humble, so fierce they can be compassionate, so passionate they can be rational, and so disciplined they can be free.”
It is clear that supporting a woman to become strong can be the best decision society can make!