International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate women and their achievements. It also a reminder of the many obstacles women faced and how they excelled despite the hurdles. Women today occupy important positions in all walks of life. They have made their contribution in all arenas, they are challenging the social norms and trying to shatter the elusive glass ceiling. But it was a different story in the past. Women didn’t enjoy the freedom they do now. Many weren’t allowed to study, go to work or even vote.
When parents and their closest relatives first hear the sentence, “It’s a girl,” their response differs tremendously depending on the societal expectations from the baby girl. For some cultures a baby girl is a blessing, while for others, it is a lifelong cause of anxiety, a misfortune for the family. Irrespective of the traits attributed to the baby girl, the identity of women in their respective societies swings like a pendulum over her future.
Here’s A Brief Timeline Of How International Women’s Day Evolved Over The Years:
1909: The day was first observed in United States on February 28. The Socialist Part of America designated the day in honour of the garment worker’s strike in New York in 1908, where women protested for better pay and shorter working hours.
1913-14: Women’s day became a mechanism to protest war. Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day on the last day of February to protest World War I. Women in Europe held rallies on March 8 to express solidarity with peace activists.
1975: United Nations began celebrating the day on March 8, 1975 was United Nation’s International Women’s Year.
2011: Former US President Barack Obama proclaimed March as Women’s History Month to reflect on the extraordinary accomplishments of women and honour their role in shaping a nation’s history.
The theme for International Women’s Day 2017 is ‘Be Bold for Change’.The campaign calls on people to work towards a better working world- a more gender inclusive world.
Things may be far from ideal for women but as long as people continue to fight for equality, there is hope.