Every year, March 8 is set aside for the celebration of women.
This special day known as the International Women’s Day is a chance from women, nonbinary folks, and male allies to join together to fight for their rights. Also, it is an opportunity to celebrate the many accomplishments of women worldwide while demanding for equality and change.
This special holiday has been around for over 40 years and here are some special facts you should know about it.
The International Women’s Day began in 1909 as a socialist movement. by the Socialist Party Of America in the United States in response to the 1908 garment workers’ strike in New York, with women protesting against their poor working conditions. The Socialist International Party met in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1910 to establish a Women’s Day to honour women’s rights and strive toward suffrage. Over 100 women from 17 countries unanimously approved it.
The first International Women’s Day was celebrated by over a million men and women on March 19, 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. However, it was not until 1975 that the United Nations (UN) dubbed it Year of the Woman.
International Women’s Day was recognised by the United Nations in 1975 and in its declaration of the day as an official international holiday, UN said,
“It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. International Women’s Day first emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe.”
International Women’s Day is celebrated in 100 countries of the 195 countries in the world. Countries like Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia recognise it as an official holiday.
The 2019 theme is #BalanceforBetter. International Women’s Day has a theme every year. According to the IWD campaign, 2019 is about balance: “A balanced world is a better world. How can you help forge a more gender-balanced world? Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.”