International Women's Day: March 8 - A Day To Celebrate Women
International Women's Day Turns 100
March 8 is the International Women's Day (
IWD), a global holiday celebrating the achievements of women. This year marks one-hundred-year anniversary since the holiday was first observed in 1910.
What is the meaning of IWD?
Although the IWD started off as a socialist holiday, it grew to become a day to celebrate women and their values. Throughout the years, the IWD became just another reason to acknowledge the important women in everyone's lives. Although the holiday does not have much prominence in North America, it is big in Eastern and Central Europe. The IWD mirrors Mother's Day in concept but is inclusive of all women. It is customary to present women with sweets and flowers as a token of appreciation on March 8.
IWD And Feminism
In recent years, the IWD has been criticized for being too feminist. Many people wonder why there is no International Men's Day. But in fact, International Men's Day does exist. It is celebrated on November 19. It is also celebrated as an anti-sexist day intended to give more gender balance and a way to celebrate men's contribution to community, family and child care.
But, the issue of gender bias has always infiltrated modern society. Co-incidentally, the government of Canada is considering changing the lyrics of the national anthem to remove gender bias and make it gender neutral. Canadian politicians are suggesting the line, "all thy sons command" should be replaced.
This year, the International Women's Day is used by the International Committee of Red Cross to draw attention to the issue of displaced women. Thousands of women are displayed as the result of arm conflicts and civil wars every year. Often faced with having to care for children and elders, displaced women stand alone in the face of poverty, adversity, rape and intimidation.
Women are not totally helpless. Our idea is to move away from assumptions and stereotypes and instead call attention to women’s specific needs, vulnerabilities in wartime, and indeed the remarkable strength they show in protecting and supporting their families and finding ingenuous ways of coping with their ordeal.