What is International Women's Day on March 8?
International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 every year, and this year marks the 100th Anniversary of the beginning of this tradition. It celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of all women all over the world.
The day has since become less about politics and more about just celebrating women in general. It can be an occasion for men to express how much they love the women around them, but due to the United Nations recognizing the social aspect of the day, the issue of human rights for all women remains a strong theme for the day.
The first IWD was observed on 28 February 1909 in the United States following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America. Among other relevant historic events, it came to commemorate the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. The idea of having an international women's day was first put forward at the turn of the 20th century amid rapid world industrialization and economic expansion that led to protests over working conditions.
Protests for human rights for women were held on March 8 every year before the day was officially recognized as International Women's Day. The day had a lot of significance just before WWI but dwindled in support during the war years and had to be revived by the feminism movement in the 1960s.
This year, there will be a focus on the health care needs of women and how they can often be ignored, not only in our day to day lives, but especially in war situations.
In countries that are plagued with war, women are 300 times more likely to die in childbirth or duing their pregnancy because they do not have access to the health care that developed nations in peacetime do. In war zones women are also at a risk of rape and sexual assault and cannot get the health care they need.
Events are held by women and women's groups around the world so look out for what is happening in your neighbourhood and see how you can help out.