Women’s Day (March 8): History, Significance, Celebrations
|Happy International Women’s Day. Photo: prdaily|
International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women's achievements or rally for women's equality.
History of International Women's Day
Susan B. Anthony was a political activist and an advocate of women’s rights. After the Civil War, she fought for the Fourteenth Amendment that was meant to grant all naturalized and native-born Americans citizenship in the hope that it would include suffrage rights. Although the fourteenth amendment was ratified in 1868, it still didn’t secure their vote. In 1869, the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) was founded by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Anthony to continue the fight for women’s rights.
In the early 1900s, women were experiencing pay inequality, a lack of voting rights, and they were being overworked. In response to all of this 15,000 women marched in through New York City in 1908 to demand their rights. In 1909, the first National Women’s Day was observed in accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America. This was celebrated on the last Sunday of February until 1913.
An International Women’s Conference was organized in August 1910, by Clara Zetkin, a German suffragist and leader in the Women’s Office. Zetkin proposed a special Women’s Day to be organized annually and International Women’s Day was honored the following year in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland, with more than one million attending the rallies. On August 18, 1920, the nineteenth amendment was ratified and white women were granted the right to vote in the US.
The liberation movement took place in the 1960s and the effort led to the passage of the Votings Rights Act, allowing all women the right to vote. When the internet became more commonplace, feminism and the fight against gender inequality experienced a resurgence. Now we celebrate International Women’s Day each year as we push continuously with the hope of creating a completely equal society, according to Nationaltoday.
International Women's Day 2021
International Women’s Day is on March 8. The achievements of women and how far they have come in the fight for their rights within the political, cultural, and social spheres are celebrated.
What is the theme for International Women’s Day in 2021?
The global theme for International Women’s Day in 2021 is ‘Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World’. COVID-19 has impacted women and girls in profound ways, amplifying the inequalities they face every day. It is fundamental that diverse women’s voices and experiences are central to national and global recovery plans.
A key contributor to a more equal COVID-19 world is increasing women’s access to leadership roles. Unfortunately, women still face significant cultural, socio-economic and political barriers to accessing leadership. You can read more about this in our research Women's Pathways to Leadership: Our Pathways, Our Voice, which investigates how and why women become leaders, and the gendered barriers they face along the way.
The International Women’s Day theme for 2021 is #ChooseToChallenge, which highlights the importance of challenging biases and misconceptions in the interest of creating a more inclusive and gender-equal world. The 2020 theme was #EachforEqual; 2019’s was #BalanceforBetter. In 2018, the theme of International Women’s Day was #PressforProgress, the 2017 Women’s Day theme was #BeBoldforChange, and the 2016 theme was #PledgeforParity.
What colors symbolize International Women's Day?
Purple, green, and white are the colors of International Women's Day. Purple signifies justice and dignity. Green symbolizes hope. White represents purity, albeit a controversial concept. The colors originated from the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) in the UK in 1908.
Who can support International Women's Day?
International Women's Day is not a country, group, nor organization specific. No one government, NGO, charity, corporation, academic institution, women's network, or media hub is solely responsible for International Women's Day. The day belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist, and activist once explained "The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist, nor to any one organization, but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights." So make International Women's Day your day and do what you can to truly make a positive difference for women.
How to participate in International Women's Day
There are many ways you can participate in the celebration of International Women's Day, including joining in on the numerous events that will be held worldwide. These special events will span from global gatherings and informative conferences to powerful art exhibitions and festivals and will be held by women's networks, charities, political parties, corporations, and other communities. You can easily search for an IWD event happening near you before the big day.
Even if you can't attend an IWD event, though, you can still join millions of participants by wearing purple on March 8. Signifying justice and dignity, the color purple has become an international symbol for women since the origination of purple, green, and white as a symbol of women's equality from the Women's Social and Political Union in the UK in 1908.
To celebrate this year's specific theme for International Women's Day, you can also strike the #EachforEqual pose — and if you want to help spread the word about this important celebration, don't forget to share your pledges and messages on social media using the hashtag #IWD2020.
Traditions of the day
As women come together to celebrate the advancement of gender equality and women’s rights on International Women’s Day, they receive ample support from men who give them flowers or other gifts. This tradition extends to educational institutes and workplaces as well. Inspiring female leaders and women with success stories in different areas of life are put in the spotlight to encourage and influence other women all over the world.
In Spain and Turkey, political activities and protests take place on this day. The aim is to motivate change in policymaking. In China, women are often allowed a half-day off from work and receive special treatment in general at work and home.
How is International Women's Day celebrated around the world?
International Women's Day is an official holiday in at least 20 countries, including Afghanistan, Cuba, Laos, Russia, and Vietnam. In many of these countries, tradition holds that men honor their mothers, wives, girlfriends, and colleagues with flowers and small presents. In other nations, the day is much like the holiday of Mother's Day, in which children give gifts to their mothers and grandmothers. In other countries, however, like Nepal and China, IWD is a holiday only for women.
As for the United States, International Women's Day isn't recognized as an official holiday, although it's been proposed. This doesn't stop the flurry of lively celebrations from taking place across the U.S., though, as numerous political rallies, business conferences, and government and corporate events happen all across the country to honor the special day and bring together women of all different backgrounds and cultures, Goodhousekeeping noted.
International Women's Day Quotes
“Here’s to strong women: May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.” –Unknown
“To tell a woman everything she cannot do is to tell her what she can.” –Spanish Proverb
“Well-behaved women rarely make history.” –Eleanor Roosevelt
“A charming woman doesn’t follow the crowd; she is herself.” –Loretta Young
“The best protection any woman can have is courage.” –Elizabeth Cady Stanton
“Where there is a woman, there is magic.” –Ntozake Shange
“You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it.” –Unknown
“Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world.” –Hillary Clinton
“A girl should be two things: Who and what she wants.” –Coco Chanel
“She wasn’t looking for a knight. She was looking for a sword.” –Atticus
“A strong woman stands up for herself. A stronger woman stands up for everyone else.” –Unknown
“Feminism isn’t about making women strong. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” –G.D. Anderson
“You can always tell who the strong women are. They are the ones you see building one another up instead of tearing each other down.” –Unknown
“She overcame everything that was meant to destroy her.” –Rumi
“The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who’s going to stop me.” –Ayn Rand
“Some women fear the fire. Some women simply become it.” –R.H. Sin
“Cinderella never asked for a prince. She asked for a night off and a dress.” –Kiera Cass
“I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.” –Madonna
“It’s okay if you fall down and lose your spark. Just make sure that when you get back up, you rise as the whole damn fire.” –Colette Werden
“A woman is like a tea bag: You can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” –Eleanor Roosevelt
“What’s the greatest lesson a woman should learn? That since day one, she’s already had everything she needs within herself. It’s the world that convinced her she did not.” –Rupi Kaur
Happy Women's Day wishes
"Happy Women's Day to all the incredible women! Shine on... Not just today but every day!"
"It's Women's day! Feel special and unique on the top of the world!"
"Women are always a source of inspiration for the family and society. Happy Women's Day to you!"
"Women can do anything! Congratulations on International Women's Day!"
"I treasure you close to my heart. Here are my best wishes to you on International Women's Day 2020!"
"To the woman of my dream: you fill my days with happiness and my world with love!"
"Congratulations, lovely woman. Today you deserve our most beautiful flowers and poetry!"
"Best wishes for your special day! Live, Laugh and Love!"
"Your smile makes the heart sing. Thank you for being so wonderful!"
"Happy women's day to you. You are special and know that it's true!"
"Behind every successful woman is Herself. Have a wonderful Women's Day!"
"Happy Women's Day, to someone who is much more wonderful than they think, with all my love."
"Some women are lost in the fire. But you are built from it! Best wishes on Women's Day."
"You just smile and the world changes. Let the harmony and colors of spring shine in your life!"
International women's day March 8 congratulations
All best wishes on International women's day. Keep shining and smiling always!
A charming woman doesn't follow the crowd. She is herself! Today is yours and so is every other day!
You make life worth living. Happy Women's Day to all the lovely women!
Be beautiful if you can, be wise if you want to, but to be respected - that is essential! Wishing you a very happy Women's day 2020.
Just wanted to thank you from bottom of my heart for all things you do! Wishing you a day filled with goodness and warmth.
On the occasion of March 8, I wish you happiness, health, success and prosperity in the years ahead.
Don't follow the crowd, because you won't go further then crowd. Walk your way alone and you'll find yourself in places no one has ever been before!
A woman like you is precious and hard to find. Wishing you a day as beautiful as you are!
Don't walk into a room full of people and wonder if they like you. Look around and wonder if YOU like them!
You are a special woman and I want you to know how very important you are. Have a wonderful day!
Despite failures - you stand up. Despite sorrow - you cheer up. Despite the pain - you keep fighting! Keep dreaming to fly higher reaching new heights. Congratulations on March 8!
Gender Equality by 2030
International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women, who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.
The world has made unprecedented advances, but no country has achieved gender equality.
Fifty years ago, we landed on the moon; in the last decade, we discovered new human ancestors and photographed a black hole for the first time.
In the meantime, legal restrictions have kept 2.7 billion women from accessing the same choice of jobs as men. Less than 25 percent of parliamentarians were women, as of 2019. One in three women experiences gender-based violence, United Nations cited.
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