Today is International Women’s Day (IWD), a global celebration of women’s achievements and a call for gender equality. It is observed every year on March 8th and has been celebrated since the early 1900s. This day is marked by events, rallies, and marches to raise awareness of women’s rights and gender parity.
The origins of International Women’s Day can be traced back to the early 20th century. In 1908, 15,000 women marched through the streets of New York City, demanding better working conditions, voting rights, and an end to discrimination against women. This event was organized by the Socialist Party of America to honour a strike by the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union, which had taken place the previous year.
The following year, in 1909, the first National Women’s Day was observed in the United States on February 28th. It was organized by the Socialist Party of America to commemorate the 1908 march and to demand equal rights for women, including the right to vote. The idea of an International Women’s Day was first proposed in 1910 by Clara Zetkin, a German socialist and feminist, at the International Socialist Women’s Conference in Copenhagen. Zetkin’s proposal was unanimously adopted by the conference, and the first International Women’s Day was celebrated on March 19, 1911, in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland.
Since then, International Women’s Day has grown into a global movement that celebrates women’s achievements and calls for gender equality. It is an opportunity to reflect on the progress that has been made in the fight for women’s rights and to recognize the work that still needs to be done. The theme for International Women’s Day 2023 is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality,” which encourages individuals to challenge gender bias and inequality and to work towards a more inclusive world.
One of the main goals of International Women’s Day is to achieve gender parity. Gender parity refers to the equal representation of women and men in all aspects of life, including politics, education, employment, and leadership. While progress has been made in some areas, such as access to education and healthcare, women still face significant barriers to achieving gender parity. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021, it will take another 135.6 years to close the gender gap globally, an improvement of just 0.6 years from the previous year’s estimate of 136.2 years.
To achieve gender parity, it is important to address the underlying factors that contribute to gender inequality, such as cultural attitudes toward women, discrimination, and unequal access to resources. Efforts to achieve gender parity should also focus on increasing women’s representation in leadership positions, promoting equal pay for equal work, and providing access to education and healthcare.
While progress has been made, there is still a long way to go to achieve true gender equality. International Women’s Day serves as a reminder that we must continue to work towards a more inclusive world where women have the same opportunities as men to reach their full potential.