What is International Women’s Day? Everything you need to know

What is International Women’s Day? Everything you need to know

What is International Women’s Day? Everything you need to know. Image: Shutterstock.com/Rawpixel.com

International Women’s Day is observed by many countries on March 8, celebrating the political, cultural and historical achievements of women around the world.

International Women’s Day marks the achievements of women and also serves as recognition in supporting and taking action against gender equality.

The first International Women’s Day (IWD) was born in the USA in honour of the 1908 garment workers’ strike in New York, where women protested against their working conditions.

However, the first milestone was much earlier – in 1848. Indignant over women being barred from speaking at an anti-slavery convention, American women Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott joined a few hundred people at their nation’s first women’s rights convention in New York. They demanded civil, social, political and religious rights for women in a Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions – the movement was born from there.

The holiday was initially associated with far-left movements and governments until its adoption by the global feminist movement in the late 1960s, becoming a mainstream global holiday following its adoption by the United Nations in 1977.

It was in 1979 that the most comprehensive bill of rights to protect women was created – the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) – defining the meaning of discrimination against women and the requirement to eliminate it.

The growing movement, which has been strengthened by four global United Nations women’s conferences, has helped build the commemoration into a rallying point to build support for women’s rights and participation in the political and economic spheres.

This year, the theme for IWD is ‘Break the Bias’, highlighting the need for a world free of bias, discrimination and stereotypes against women.

Although we have moved a long way from the inception of IWD, we still have a long way to go until we see equal rights, equal pay and the end of gender discrimination.

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    • Naimah Yianni

      08 March 2023 • 14:29

      I don´t think it´s anywhere near as bad as people make it out to be, certainly not in the UK and I don´t believe in quotas. This new Spanish law making quotas for the number of women on boards etc is downright ridiculous. Positive discimination is discrimination and should be illegal the same as any other discrimination. The person who gets a ppointed to a position should be the best candidate. i would be offended if I was given a job or a position just because I´m a woman. We don´t need pity, we just need to get off our arses and work hard

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