International Women's Day is observed annually on March 8, all around the world. It is a day to reflect on and celebrate the social, political, economic, and cultural accomplishments of women.
One of the main purposes of this day is to bring awareness to the fight for gender equality.
Although it is a holiday in some countries, it is a normal day in the United States, and as such, businesses and schools are open.
Purple is the official color and Goddess Venus is the official logo of International Women's Day.
Purple, Green, and White have been the colors selected by the Women's Social and Political Union in the United Kingdom since 1908.
Purple symbolizes justice and dignity, green symbolizes hope and white symbolizes purity. However, white has now been removed because it is considered antiquated.
The History of International Women's Day
The fight to have a day to celebrate women began during the 1900s. During that time, there was a huge surge in population growth and unemployment was becoming a big issue during the industrial revolution.
As a result, radical ideologies started spiking and people who felt themselves being mistreated started standing up for themselves.
This gave way to rest and depression. Members of labor movements also spoke openly about their discontentment and conditions.
In 1908, 15,000 women marched through the streets of New York, demanding better pay and voting rights.
Motivated by this, in 1909 garment workers went on strike in protest against their working conditions and bad pay.
Then the Socialist Party of America organized the first National Women's Day in America with Theresa Malkiel on February 28 in 1909.
This day was celebrated on the last Sunday of February, until 1913.
Clara Zetkin, of the German Women's Office, was inspired by these movements. In 1920, during a conference in Copenhagen, she demanded to have an International Women's Day.
A day when every country in the world would unite in their demands for better rights and equality for women.
This was approved and the first official gatherings for International Women's Day took place on March 19, 1911, across Europe.
A few days later, on March 25, the Triangle Fire happened in New York.
It killed 146 woman factory workers, highlighting the need for awareness of working conditions for women even more.
Finally, March 8 was declared the official International Women's Day in 1913.
International Women's Day In Recent Times
The United Nations declared 1975 International Women's Year and began observing International Women's Day.
The UN General Assembly asked all of their member states to recognize March 8 as the Day to celebrate women by 1977.
It was also the day for women's rights, international peace, women's equality and to end discrimination.
It was then declared that each country should celebrate this day according to its own traditions and customs. Hence, it became a global affair.
In 1996 it was decided that International Women's Day should have a different theme that highlights women's struggles and achievements every year.
The first annual theme was Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future.
Since then there have been many different themes such as Ending Impunity for Violence Against Women and Girls in 2007 and Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change in 2019.
The theme for 2020 was Each For Equal, for 2021 it was “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world,” and for 2022 it was Accelerate Equality: Experience the Impact When you Break the Bias.
The theme for 2023 is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”
The Celebrations Of International Women's Day
Every year International Women's Day is observed with events around the world that raise awareness of the struggles and achievements of women.
The events include seminars, conferences, debates, and social gatherings.
In these events. women leaders in the community, such as politicians, educators, entrepreneurs, and TV personalities are invited to give talks that focus on the issues and successes of women.
These include; the need for education, the portrayal of women in the media, and encouraging women to pursue equality in their careers.
Schools will also organize special lessons and presentations, where they teach students about the influence of women in society.
Some Historical Facts About International Women's Day
The first celebration of women's day in 1911 took place only in Denmark, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
The UN only recognized it as a holiday in 1975
President Barack Obama declared March as "Women's History Month" in 2011 in the US.
According to a report by the UN, women make only 77 cents for every dollar men make. If this continues, equal pay will only happen after 2069.