Why is Women’s Day Celebrated? Some Interesting Facts about International Women’s Day

We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back. We call upon our sisters around the world to be brave – to embrace the strength within themselves and realize their full potential. – Malala Yousafzai

The last 25 years have seen a drastic global cultural, social and economical shift. This definitely has started the whirlwind of counteracting and cleaning the long trail of imbalance and inequality women had to endure. It’s not easy to eliminate the residual of such age-long discrepancy.

There are cultural shifts happening all over the world to embrace equality and give strength to women empowerment. However, we still need to do a lot in terms of gender parity, equal opportunities and equal rights for every woman.

Fortunately, we can help facilitate this process 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 the society in the long run.

Women's Day

“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?

The International Women’s Day (IWD) 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 international women’s day is also to highlight women’s rights, dignity and equality in society. It also focuses on other issues faced by women like gender parity.

It is also about reflection, advocacy, unity, celebration and unbiased decision making to achieve the common objectives for women’s development. The International Women’s day has been celebrated for over a century and is also growing from strength to strength.

Why is Women’s Day Celebrated?

It has been twenty-five years since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and platform for action, which is a progressive roadmap for gender equality. It’s now time to take stock of the progress achieved so far and bridge the gaps through bold and decisive actions.

Some Interesting Facts about the International Women’s Day

When did Women’s day start?

Women’s day was first celebrated on February 28th, 1909 in New York. After two years the popular German socialist Luise Zietz had proposed that the holiday become an annually celebrated event in order to raise the main women-specific issues and challenges in a male-dominated society and also to promote equal rights for women.

The History of Women’s Day

The first few Women’s days were celebrated with hundreds of demonstrations taking place across Europe. The day slowly began to evolve into a Women’s equality day, with women demanding the right to vote, and hold public office.

During 1917, the Women’s day demonstrations in Saint Petersburg in Russia, helped to initiate the February revolution when hundreds of women marched through the city demanding an end to World War I.

Till the year 1977, Women’s day celebrations were limited to socialist countries. The actual March 8th International Women’s day gained popularity only after the United Nations general assembly proclaimed it.

What are the colours that signify International Women’s Day?

Purple has been the colour internationally for symbolising women. 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 and justice while green symbolizes hope.

What are the colours that signify International Women’s Day?

How to Celebrate International Women’s Day?

  • There are many creative ways to celebrate International Women’s Day. We need to ensure that we focus on some common goals. It can be done in a way to raise awareness regarding any particular issues or challenges the women face in their day to day life.
  • Many international women’s day activities and events are organized throughout the globe to celebrate the IWD 2020. You can attend any of these events and pledge your support or be an active member. Make a donation to their cause or read books and articles highlighting the plight of women and also inspire other people around you to support the cause.
  • Send International Women’s Day greetings or post meaningful messages online and wish each other to ensure harmony and peace in society.
  • Make it a special occasion by honouring mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with cards, flowers, chocolates and gifts.
  • 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 events may include seminars, conferences or luncheons, dinners or breakfasts. The messages mainly focus on women 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. Students bring small gifts for their teachers.
  • Workplaces make special mentions through newsletters, notices or promotional materials focusing on the day.
  • Every country has its own unique way to celebrate international women’s day. In Italy, the day is celebrated by giving women a mimosa blossom.
  • You can celebrate this special day by posting pictures doing the scale pose with both your hands like a set of scales to match the theme. Also, post pictures of celebrating this day in some unique and special way to highlight issues and create awareness.

{You can also use the hashtag #EachforEqual and #IWD2020}

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.

Importance of Celebrating the International Women’s Day 2020

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 IWD website, women still have challenges to win like pay parity and lesser representation of women in government and other places of power.

Importance of Celebrating the International Women’s Day 2020

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.

“I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights” is the theme of International Women’s Day 2020.

This theme is aligned with the UN Women’s new multigenerational campaign, Generation Equality, which is marking its 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and platform for action. This has been one of the most progressive roadmaps for the empowerment of women and girls across the globe.

This year’s hashtags also include the thematic #EachforEqual, the straightforward #IWD2020, #InternationalWomensDay, and #SeeHer.

Conclusion:

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.

Womens Day

There is a need to make further amendments in law and culture to create an unbiased opportunity for women as they can contribute more effectively in building societies. The year 2020 offers another golden opportunity to accelerate global actions to achieve gender equality and human rights to all women and girls worldwide.

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