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International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day

Originally called International Working Women’s Day, is marked on March 8 every year. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women’s economic, political and social achievements. Started as a Socialist political event, the holiday blended in the culture of many countries, primarily Eastern Europe, Russia, and the former Soviet bloc. In many regions, the day lost its political flavour, and became simply an occasion for men to express their love for women in a way somewhat similar to a mixture of Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. In other regions, however, the original political and human rights theme designated by the United Nations runs strong, and political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide are brought out and examined in a hopeful manner.

The first national Women’s Day was observed on 28 February 1909 in the United States following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America. In August 1910, an International Women’s Conference was organized to precede the general meeting of the Socialist Second International in Copenhagen. Inspired in part by the American socialists, German Socialist Luise Zietz proposed the establishment of an annual ‘International Woman’s Day’ (singular) and was seconded by Clara Zetkin, although no date was specified at that conference. Delegates (100 women from 17 countries) agreed with the idea as a strategy to promote equal rights, including suffrage, for women.

The following year, on 18 March, 1911, IWD was marked for the first time, by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. In the Austro-Hungarian Empire alone, there were 300 demonstrations. In Vienna, women paraded on the Ringstrasse and carried banners honouring the martyrs of the Paris Commune.Women demanded that women be given the right to vote and to hold public office. They also protested against employment sex discrimination. Americans continued to celebrate National Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February.

2011 – International Women’s Day

Events took place in more than 100 countries on March 8, 2011 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. In the United States, President Barack Obama proclaimed March 2011 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. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched the “100 Women Initiative: Empowering Women and Girls through International Exchanges”, on the eve of IWD. In the run-up to 2011 International Women’s Day, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) called on States and other entities not to relent in their efforts to prevent rape and other forms of sexual violence that harm the lives and dignity of countless women in conflict zones around the world every year.

Modern Age

Today, this events is the possibility for women to make themselves heard. Many events are held by women’s groups around the world. The UK-based marketing company Aurora hosts a free worldwide register of IWD local events so that women and the media can learn about local activity. Many governments and organizations around the world support IWD.

70% of those living in poverty are women and Oxfam GB encourages women to Get Together on International Women’s Day and fundraise to support Oxfam projects, which change the lives of women around the world. Thousands of people hold events for Oxfam on International Women’s Day, join the celebration by visiting the website and registering their events.

Sexually yours! — posted by Eva

2 comments on “International Women’s Day

  1. Nice article Eva !

    I like the idea of having a day for women because it can be a way to make women get together in order to fight for more balance between men and women’ rights…
    But having only ONE day for us, doesn’t it mean that men have the other 364 days of the year for them … ?
    Isn’t that unfair ?

  2. Thank you Marie !

    But I do not think that it means that all the other days it is the men’s day. I think that we have one celebration for all the progress that our elder have made.
    It is the same as the Armistice Day for example, people think about it not only this day but all the year. Having one special date in the calendar just make it official.

    I think that women have the recognition of what they have done, it is a way to celebrate them.

    Moreover, today this day has become a way for a lot of women organization to speak louder about the issues women can live, and we are more heard and listened on this special event.

    Finally, it is almost more unfair for men because they do not have any day for them ;)

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