Why is today special?
Today is the 8th of March. It is that day on the calendar appointed for the celebration of Women’s social, political, economic and cultural achievements the world over- International Women’s Day. This day has been observed since the early 1900’s, but has now been widely recognized all over the world on March 8th.
The roots of this day can be traced back to the time in 1908, when 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding higher pay and shorter work hours. A year on, the first National woman’s day was observed on February 28th. It was then recognized for the first time in Denmark, Germany Austria and Switzerland on March 19th.
In 1910, the leader of the ‘Women’s office’ for Germany’s Social Democratic Party initiated the idea of an International Women’s day where every country celebrates on at least one day each year. Her idea was seconded by women from over 17 countries and International Women’s Day was officially formed. The day was recognized by the UN only in 1975, but it has created a theme for celebration each year.
Today we are on the 105th anniversary of this important day. The month of March has now been coined to be Women’s History Month by Barack Obama.
Why do we keep celebrating it?
Despite the century long history of this day, we still seem to be fighting for the same things as early women did. The original aim of the day is to attain gender equality for women, where a gender gap is not present in business politics and education. Women’s health education and domestic violence have not become decidedly better despite the hundred years that has passed. According to the results of the World Economic Forum in 2014 it would take until the year 2095 to achieve gender parity. But then in 2015 they estimated a slowdown in the already glacial process of closing the gender gap, and said that it wouldn’t be achieved until the year 2133.
So now we keep up using the day to celebrate the achievements of women who have managed to overcome gender stereotypes and social barriers. We highlight the numerous occasions where women are still being abused mentally and physically, and aren’t allowed even basic human rights, let alone education and basic health practices.
The theme this year.
The theme for 2016 is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality” where the idea is to focus on reducing disease, hunger, poverty and gender inequality.
What can we do?
You can start by making a Pledge for Parity, men and women! You can do this by going to the IWD website and pledging to help girls and women to achieve their dreams and ambitions, call for gender equal leadership, bring about respect and value differences and also cultivate gender flexible societies.
Take the Pledge ~ here~
You can also either join or create events celebrating the rise of the empowered women.
This year Google Doodle is marking the day by featuring women and girls across the globe who are talking about their aspirations and ambitions by using the #OneDayIWill tag. Google visited 13 countries and talked to over 300 women.
You can check it out –here–
Their dreams are varied and have no constraints. As it should be. You too can have your say by using the tag on twitter! 🙂
The only way?
The only way to achieve gender equality is by empowering women, giving them education, improving their minds and giving them opportunities to hone their talents and capabilities. Women are now known as the untapped resources of ideas and decisions due to the vast numbers of women who are trapped in the confines of culture and economic limitations without access to learning and knowledge and opportunities.
We must understand that to educate is to reduce poverty, to educate is to bring more hands on the workforce- helping in the development of economy and politics, to educate is to shape the future of human kind, and to educate is to create a kinder safer place for us to live.
I leave you with a few quotes from some of the women who have managed to cross these boundaries as well as those who are seeing the plight of women the world over, the importance of empowering women and creating a balance in the social economic and political spectrum.
For those who believe there is no way, just remember that no dream can be achieved without hard work and no ladder is going to climb itself. The hard work will pay off, if not now, someday. Everyone who got where they are today, have elaborate histories of their work and now it is paying off.
Today and everyday should be a day spent towards thinking of how to help women to become independent and help them look over the current superficial societal expectations to become the best version of themselves.
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY ALL 🙂 !!