International Women’s Day and Why We Celebrate It | Wellness
International Women’s Day is here!
You may have seen your friends or the media talk about this event, but what does it actually mean? is it a protest?
Read on to find out why for more than a century, people have been celebrating 8th of March.
International Women’s day was officially recognised by the United Nations in 1975. However, this goes back to 1910 thanks to Clara Zetkin a communist activist and advocate for women’s rights, who suggested the creation of an international day. During the labour movement around 1908, women were working long hours whilst being paid less. also not having the right to vote. Thus, women marched through the streets of New York demanding better working conditions and the right to vote
This celebration has now become a date where we can celebrate how far women have come in society, politics and in economics. This includes protests and strikes to raise awareness of the continued inequality.
Why 8th of March?
International Women’s Day had no fixed date planned by the founder Clara Zetkin. This date was chosen during a wartime strike in 1917. Russian women demanded “bread and peace”; four days into the strike the government eventually granted women the right to vote.
The strike began on the 8th of March, and this became the date that International Women’s Day is celebrated.
Why Do We Need It?
Although there has been a significant progress towards women’s rights, compared to 1910. We have unfortunately seen a step back for women’s rights in the past few years. In August last year the resurgence of the Taliban changed the lives of millions of Afghan women – secondary education was banned for girls, the ministry for women’s affairs in the country was disbanded, and many women were told not to return to work.
In the UK, the murder of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa raised debates around women’s safety.
The pandemic has also made an impact on Women’s rights. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021, the time needed to close the global gender gap has increased by a generation from 99.5 years to 135.6 years.
However, in the past few years we have seen positive progress especially in female leadership.
In 2021 Kamala Harris became the first black and first Asian-American US vice-president.
In the same year, Tanzania swore in its first female president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, while Estonia, Sweden, Samoa and Tunisia got female prime ministers for the first time in history. In January 2022, Xiomara Castro was sworn in as Honduras’ first female president.
What is the IWD 2022 theme?
The UN announced the theme for this year’s IWD is “women equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.” This will recognise the how women across the world are responding to climate change .
The website has chosen the theme #BreakTheBias and is asking people to imagine “a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination”.