By Dr Azadeh
Countries around the world celebrated International Women’s Day on Sunday, March 8. The day not only recognizes the achievements made by women, but also brings awareness to the obstacles that still stand in their way.
If you want to get involved or need a brief history lesson on its significance, here’s everything you need to know:
When did it begin?
Although the day wasn’t officially recognized until 1977 by the United Nations, the history of the celebration can be traced back to the early 20th century, thanks to labor movements across North America and Europe.
Members of the women’s movement in Russia during World War I celebrated the first International Women’s Day on March 8, 1913 to peacefully protest the war. A year later, women across Europe held rallies in solidarity on that same date.
What is it about?
The United Nations is focusing this year on gender equality and human rights for all women and girls. The theme of the commemoration is: “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights.”
Today’s annual International Women’s Day Doodle celebrates women coming together throughout the world—and generations—with a special animated video. The multilayered 3D paper mandala animation, illustrated by New York and London-based guest artists Julie Wilkinson and Joyanne Horscroft from Makerie Studio and animated by Zurich-based guest animators Marion Willam & Daphne Abderhalden from DRASTIK GmbH, represents both the history of this powerful celebration and the significance it has for women across generations.
The mandala’s black-and-white central layer reflects women around the world during the late 1800s to the 1930s amidst labor movements. The second layer depicts women from the 1950s to the 1980s, a landmark era in the wake of pushes for gender equality and rapid changes to the status quo.
Finally, the outer layer symbolizes women from the 1990s to the present-day, in the context of progress made from over 100 years of women’s rights movements. It pays tribute to breaking barriers from former cultural and gender roles, as women continue to question, reclaim, and redefine ideas about the roles women take on in society.
As today’s women stand on the shoulders of those who have fought and made sacrifices in the generations past, they likewise carry the legacy of the movement forward.
Here’s to the women across sectors, industries, nations, ages, and cultures, which persist tirelessly to take charge together—paving the way for future generations to come.
Commemoration of International Women’s Day today ranges from being a public holiday in some countries to being largely ignored elsewhere.
In some places, it is a day of protest; in others, it is a day that celebrates womanhood.
Women’s rights and gender equality are taking center stage in 2020.
Twenty-five years since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action—a progressive roadmap for gender equality—it’s time to take stock of progress and bridge the gaps that remain through bold, decisive actions.
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day (8 March) is, “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”.
The Generation Equality campaign is bringing together people of every gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion and country, to drive actions that will create the gender-equal world we all deserve.
Together, we want to mobilize to end gender-based violence; we are calling for economic justice and rights for all; bodily autonomy, sexual and reproductive health and rights; and feminist action for climate justice. We want technology and innovation for gender equality; and feminist leadership.
Small actions can have big impacts in making this vision a reality. On International Women’s Day, join #Generation Equality and become part of the movement.
In her statement for International Women’s Day (8 March), UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka highlights 2020 as the year for gender equality and calls on everyone to tackle the persistent barriers against gender equality.
Gender Equality by 2030
International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women, who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.
The world has made unprecedented advances, but no country has achieved gender equality.
Fifty years ago, we landed on the moon; in the last decade, we discovered new human ancestors and photographed a black hole for the first time.
In the meantime, legal restrictions have kept 2.7 billion women from accessing the same choice of jobs as men. Less than 25 per cent of parliamentarians were women, as of 2019. One in three women experience gender-based violence, still.
Let’s make 2020 count for women and girls everywhere.
The theme of International Women’s Day 2020 is, I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights. The theme is aligned with UN Women’s new multi generational campaign, Generation Equality, which marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the most progressive roadmap for the empowerment of women and girls, everywhere.
This year we will also be celebrating other major UN anniversaries, such as the 10th anniversary of the establishment of UN Women, among others.
The emerging global consensus is that despite some progress, real change has been agonizingly slow for the majority of women and girls in the world. Today, not a single country can claim to have achieved gender equality. Multiple obstacles remain unchanged in law and in culture. Women and girls continue to be undervalued; they work more and earn less and have fewer choices; and experience multiple forms of violence at home and in public spaces. Furthermore, there is a significant threat of rollback of hard-won feminist gains.
The year 2020 represents an omissible opportunity to mobilize global action to achieve gender equality and human rights of all women and girls.
Why do we celebrate Women’s Day?
International Women’s Day (IWD) is dedicated to celebrating women’s achievements in the social, economic, cultural, and political spheres. The day, collectively founded by women, also brings attention to gender parity and women’s rights. … It’s also an important tool for policymakers striving towards gender equality.
Who started Women’s Day?
The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day in the International Women’s Year, 1975. In 1977, the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for women’s rights and world peace.
What do you say on Women’s Day?
Wishing you a day filled with goodness and warmth, wishing you happiness. Today and forever. No matter from which angle I look at you, you appear to be an angel and Women’s Day is the perfect to say: I am so lucky to have you in my life.
What is the importance of Women’s Day?
Women’s Day is celebrated globally on 8 March every year in honor of their remarkable contribution to our society.
The day also commemorates the inspiring role of women around the world to secure women’s rights and build more equitable societies.
Why is women’s empowerment important for development?
Empowerment of women is a necessity for the very development of a society, since it enhances both the quality and the quantity of human resources available for development. Empowerment is one of the main procedural concerns when addressing human rights and development
Why is women’s development important?
The role of women as caretakers
“Rural women play a key role in supporting their households and communities in achieving food and nutrition security, generating income, and improving rural livelihoods and overall well-being
How does gender inequality affect poverty?
Working single mothers are twice as likely as men to hold low-wage and/or part-time jobs with few or no benefits. Working mothers with children under 18 reports that the gender pay gap contributes to poor living conditions, poor nutrition, and fewer opportunities for their children
Why women’s economic empowerment is important
Economic empowerment. Investing in women’s economic empowerment sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth. Women make enormous contributions to economies, whether in businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs or employees, or by doing unpaid care work at home.
Does an increase in women’s education result in higher economic growth?
Increases in the amount of female education in regions tend to correlate with high levels of development. Some of the effects are related to economic development. Women’s education increases the income of women and leads to growth in GDP
Why is women’s economic participation important to mission buildings?
Women’s economic participation promotes agricultural productivity, enterprise development at the micro, small and medium enterprise levels, as well as enhances business management and returns on investment. … Women also play key roles in creating peaceful and stable societies –important factors for economic growth.
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Author DR AZADEH Senior Lecturer at the University of the Gambia, Senior Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Clinical Director at Medicare Health Services.