International women’s day (IWD) – Celebrating womanhood

“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.” Gloria Steinem

Everybody in this world wants appreciation for their work and women are not an exception. From the day a female is born till the time she dies, she’s expected to follow the rules of the society whether she likes it or not. However, women from different countries of the world worked hard for their recognition.

What is life without women? Nada. IWD is about celebrating the roles of women in our lives. Mothers who give birth and bring up children. The sisters who help their brothers in dealing with their girlfriends. Wives who complete a man’s life. There’s no end to the list of responsibilities of women in the society. However, despite all this, women are frowned upon and treated as lower than men.

How do we celebrate IWD? By creating campaigns to promote womens’ achievements. While I was studying in a London university, on IWD a big board was set up in the campus and people were expected to write about the achievements of women. Someone wrote the first female astronaut and many others wrote about first woman to achieve something. I also wrote. I wrote that a woman’s greatest achievement is that she has the ability to give birth and nurture a child.  

Looking at the history, the first effort started in America on 28th February, 1909 in honour of the 1908 garment workers strike in New York, where women protested against working conditions. This movement spread to Europe and later, all over the world.

In 1945, the Charter of United Nations made history by signing the first international agreement of giving equal rights to men and women. Since then, the United Nations (UN) has promoted the empowerment of women in every sphere of life. By 1975, IWD was accepted by the UN to be on 8th March.

IWD is not considered a public holiday in many countries but it is still celebrated. On this day, men give flowers and gifts. In some countries, it is considered as equal to mother’s day when children also offer gifts to their mothers and grandmothers.

Since 1996, the UN celebrated IWD using themes every year. This year, the theme is Think equal, build smart, innovative for change. Up till today, women are over looked and don’t get equal rights as men in many fields such as science and engineering. Therefore, this year the UN will look into the different aspects and plan on creating equal opportunities for women and girls alike.

Even in this 21st century, despite advancements in our lifestyles, women still have to struggle to gain equal rights. Therefore, this is one of the challenges in the world. However, women and supporters of human rights continue to make efforts and hopefully one day women will achieve equal rights with men.  

Garima Nabh is the founder of New Age Magazine.

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