International Women’s Day (IWD) 2020 celebrates the expression: ‘Each For Equal’ and the theme “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”. Equality has been a decade-long topic of discussion, not just for women but for the whole society. Although women have gone through their bitter-sweet struggle for over a century of attaining equality in all spheres, the situation is nowhere close to what it should be. Gender inequality is still widely prevalent in this so-called progressive environment.
What is the importance of IWD?
Women have toiled days and nights for justice, dignity and hope. Their efforts took a fruitful turn and helped in setting up the idea of an International Women’s Day that serves to champion women’s rights, female empowerment and gender equality. The day recognizes the achievements of women in different socio, economic, political spheres.
Which color signifies IWD?
The symbol of Venus reflects the color of International Women’s Day. Purple symbolises dignity & justice, the core values that IWD aims to achieve for all women across the world.
What is the history of International Women’s Day?
Starting from its inception, the events align in this manner.
- 1908 – Fighting for better pay, shorter hours & voting rights, women took off to the streets of New York City paving way for the famous women’s labour movement in the U.S.
- 1909 – Under the Socialist Party of America, on 28th February, the first National Woman’s Day was observed across the US until 1913.
- 1910 – During the second International Conference of Working Women, held in Copenhagen, a woman called Clara Zetkin proposed the idea of a Women’s Day – an internationally celebrated day to press demands. A unanimous decision was taken among the attendees that comprised of – 100 women from 17 countries.
- 1911 – International Women’s Day was honoured the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March where more than one million women and men attended IWD rallies demanding for women rights.
- 1913-1914 – The first International Women’s Day was celebrated by the Russian women on the last Sunday of February in 1913, which later got transferred to 8 March and this day has remained the official date since then.
- 1917 – Four years later, on March 8, 1917 the working-class women disturbed by the deteriorating living conditions Russian women began a ‘bread & peace’ strike and gained the right to vote. The events in Russia paved way for setting the date for the celebration of International Women’s Day across Europe.
- 1975 – The United Nations first celebrated International Women’s Day.
- 1977 – UN General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace, followed by an annual theme in 1996, and plenty of campaign themes in the succeeding years like – #BalanceforBetter, #PressforProgress, #BeBoldforChange, #PledgeforParity, #MakeItHappen and #EachForEqual in 2020.
- 2011 – President Barack Obama proclaimed the month to be “Women’s History Month”, calling Americans to mark IWD by reflecting on “the extraordinary accomplishments of women” in shaping the country’s history.
How is IWD celebrated across the world?
Several numbers of organisations, entities & people across the world volunteer and conduct events & campaigns to celebrate International Women’s Day. The core aim of these events is to make people aware of the denied rights & demanded equality.
There are also organisations that work & hold programs in remote areas of the world with dreams of women liberation and upliftment.
Being a national holiday in many countries, each country celebrates the day differently.
In China, many women are given half-day off. In Italy, International Women’s Day, or la Festa della Donna, is celebrated by the giving of mimosa blossom, a traditional gesture that started in Rome after World War II.
In the US, the month of March is Women’s History Month, honoring achievements of American Women.
This year, IWD 2020 marks the relevance and need for an equal world devoid of discrimination among the gender. Conducting campaigns that brings together people of all gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion and country, to inculcate values and urge actions that facilitate a gender-equal world we all deserve.