Every year, March 8th is observed to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of women. It doesn’t just celebrate women’s empowerment but also spreads awareness on their historic journey to gender equality. This day celebrates all the social, cultural, economic and political winning of women from all walks of life. However, this year’s celebration can be entirely different based on the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
History and Significance
International women’s day has been celebrated for a century now and can be traced back to February 28, 1909. In honour of the garment workers’ strike in New York, the Socialist Party of America designated it on March 8, 1909.
During 1908, there was an on-going critical debate on women oppression and inequality. This change campaign became more vocal when 15,000 women demanded better pay, shorter working hours, and the right to vote. The first-ever women’s day was observed across the United States in 1909. Clara Zetkin, a leader of the women’s office for the Democratic Party in Germany, helped develop a social-democratic women’s movement. Austria, Denmark, Switzerland and Germany were the first to honour International women’s day. Later, March 8 was globally accepted as International Women’s Day.
“For reforms ameliorate the situation of the working class, they lighten the weight of the chain’s labour is burdened with by capitalism, but they are not sufficient to crush capitalism and to emancipate the workers from their tyranny.” – Clara Zetkin.
Significance of International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day celebrates all the aspects of a women’s life, from being a housewife to working as a professional in the workspace. This day celebrates how a woman loves and cares for her family to how she manages to achieve goals in society. People celebrate by pampering the women in their lives and telling them how special they are.
It’s a significant day to make people get aware of women’s rights, gender equality and safety and prevent any harassment. This day helps us reflect on women’s extraordinary roles in every walk of life and celebrates ordinary women’s courage and determination. It helps us know how significant these developments are insignificant for society.
“Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights.” – Hillary Clinton, American politician.
Theme of International Women’s Day 2021
This year’s theme is “Choose to Challenge“, which indicates that a challenged world is an alert world, and from challenge comes change. Women can all choose to challenge gender bias, inequality and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, it helps create an inclusive world. Women are asked to challenge everything that holds them back. It highlights the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” –Michelle Obama, Former First Lady of the United States.
International Women’s Day 2021- Notable Colours
Women’s day has three striking colours Purple, Green and White. Each colour has its significance and was originated from the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in the UK in the year 1908. Purple signifies justice and dignity; Green symbolize hope, and White represents purity.
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa, Activist.
Many people may not be aware that international Women’s day is not specific to any group, state, country, or organization. This day belongs to women everywhere where they can celebrate and increase the visibility of women’s achievements. There is still an appalling need to increase awareness through meaningful resources, narratives, and activities to fight against gender bias and discrimination.