What is International Women’s Day?
International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, as noted on IWD’s official website. What’s more, this day is all about focusing on how women can enhance in a world that is – for the large part – filled with inequality.
Whilst it started off as a movement in New York over 100 years ago, IWD has transformed into a global phenomenon. Today, millions of Muslims from around the world come together to celebrate the many achievements made by women whilst also recognising the many difficulties they continue to face to this day.
The History of IWD
Did you know that IWD dates back to the early 1900s? In a time when the industrialised world was making some noise and the world was witnessing population growth, something remarkable happened. Reacting to the oppression and inequality many women were facing in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City whilst protesting for voting rights, equal pay and shorter working hours.
The next year on 28 February 1909, after a declaration was made by the Socialist Party of America at the time, the first-ever National Women’s Day (NWD) was celebrated. This was a huge honour and success, as it commemorated the efforts of the 15,000+ women who marched through the streets of New York City the previous year.
The next year witnessed even more progress with this new movement. Clara Zetkin, a a women’s rights advocate and the leader of Germany’s Women’s Office for the Social Democratic Party, came up with the idea of an International Women’ Day, in which countries worldwide would come together on one day and celebrate women and their difficulties and successes. Thus, International Women’s Day became a thing.
The date was soon changed to March 8 and has remained the same to this day. In 2011, after the anniversary of 100 years of IWD, former President Barack Obama proclaimed March 2011 to be Women’s History Month. To this day, Women’s History Month is celebrated by millions of people globally.
When is International Women’s Day?
International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8.
What is This Year’s Theme?
IWD hasn’t always had a theme. It was only in 1996 that the day was given a theme which would change every year. In 1996, the theme was “Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future”. Last year, the theme was #Breakthebias which focused on gender bias issues amongst women.
This year will be different. The theme for 2023 is #EmbraceEquity. According to the IWD official website, “The aim of the IWD 2023 #EmbraceEquity campaign theme is to get the world talking about Why equal opportunities aren’t enough. People start from different places, so true inclusion and belonging require equitable action.”
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