It is an occasion to review how far they have come in their struggle for equality, peace and development. It is also an opportunity to unite, network and mobilize for meaningful change. Women also continue to be victims of violence, with rape and domestic violence listed as significant causes of disability and death among women worldwide.
In 1869 British MP John Stuart Mill was the first person in Parliament to call for women's right to vote. On 19 September 1893, New Zealand became the first country in the world to give women the right to vote. Women in other countries did not enjoy this equality and campaigned for justice for many years.
In 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen.
A woman named Clara Zetkin (Leader of the 'Women's Office' for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women's Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day - a Women's Day - to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women's clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Zetkin's suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women's Day was the result.
The very first International Women's Day was launched the following year by Clara Zetkin on 19th March. The date was chosen because on 19 March in the year of the 1848 revolution, the Prussian king recognized for the first time the strength of the armed people and gave way before the threat of a proletarian uprising. Among the many promises he made, which he later failed to keep, was the introduction of votes for women. In 1913 International Women's Day was transferred to 8 March and this day has remained the global date for International Women's Day ever since.
During International Women's Year in 1975, IWD(International womens day) was given official recognition by the United Nations and was taken up by many governments. International Women's Day is marked by events such as seminars, conferences, luncheons, dinners or breakfasts. The messages given at these events often focus on various themes such as innovation, the portrayal of women in the media, or the importance of education and career opportunities. Various women, including political, community, and business leaders, as well as leading educators, inventors, entrepreneurs, and television personalities, are usually invited to speak at various events on the day.
Many students in schools and other educational settings participate in special lessons, debates or presentations about the importance of women in society, their influence, and issues that affect them. In some countries school children bring gifts to their female teachers and women receive small presents from friends or family members. Many workplaces make a special mention about International Women's Day through internal newsletters or notices, or by handing out promotional material focusing on the day.
It is a national holiday in China, Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine.
Why women's day?
- To recognize the fact that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms require the active participation, equality and development of women;
- To acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security.
Theme for International Women's Day 2013:
A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women
International Women's Day(IWD) also known as United Nations (UN) Day for Women's Rights and International Peace.
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