Photo Source: ANI/File Photo
International Women's Day: Know History, Significance & this Year's Theme
Chandigarh, March 6, 2023: International Women's Day is observed on March 8. The day commemorates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call for action for gender parity.
It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic, or political.
History and Significance
Spurred on by the universal female suffrage movement that had begun in New Zealand, International Women's Day originated from labor movements in North America and Europe during the early 20th century.
The earliest reported Women's Day observance, called "National Woman's Day", was held on February 28, 1909, in New York City, organized by the Socialist Party of America at the suggestion of activist Theresa Malkiel.
The Socialist Party of America designated this day in honor of the 1908 garment workers' strike in New York, where women protested against working conditions.
The next year, German delegates at the 1910 International Socialist Women's Conference proposed "a special Women's Day" be organized annually. However, no date was specified. The 100 delegates, representing 17 countries, agreed with the idea as a strategy to promote equal rights, including women's suffrage.
On March 19, 1911. the first International Women's Day was marked by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. Across Europe, women demanded the right to vote and to hold public office and protested against employment sex discrimination.
The United Nations began celebrating International Women's Day in 1975, which had been proclaimed the International Women's Year. In 1977, the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as an official UN holiday for women's rights and world peace.
It has since been commemorated annually by the UN and much of the world, with each year's observance centered on a particular theme or issue within women's rights.
The theme of International Women's Day, 2023
The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March 2023 (IWD 2023) is, “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”. This theme is aligned with the priority theme for the upcoming 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW-67), “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”.
"This 8 March, we are calling on governments, activists, and the private sector alike to power on in their efforts to make the digital world safer, more inclusive, and more equitable. Facing a multiplicity of global crises, we have a chance to create a better future—not just for women and girls, but for all humanity and all life on Earth," stated UN Women.org.