Celebrating International Women's Day
What is International Women's Day (IWD)?
It is a day designated to remember, recognize and celebrate the achievements of women in their progress toward equality with men. IWD reinforces the contributions made by women, irrespective of race, ethnicity, nationality or religious affiliation, to global peace, security and development. The sacrifices made and the struggles endured by women in past decades have paved the way for the rights and privileges enjoyed by women today, such as the right to vote and access to education.
BEING AWARE IS THE FIRST STEP IN BRINGING ABOUT CHANGE AND PROGRESS IN THE LIVES OF WOMEN EVERYWHERE.
Sources: United Nations Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANWGE), 2008 http://www.un.org/womenwatch/ ; International Women's Day (Aurora), 2008 http://www.internationalwomensday.com/about.asp ; United Nations Development Fund for Women, UNIFEM, 2008 http://www.unifem.org/.
History of IWD
Early 1900s: Women organized events to draw attention to issues relating to labor,
peace, and conflict across Europe and the United States.
1945: The United Nations was the first international organization to incorporate gender
equality into its Charter.
1975:The first International Women’s Year is commemorated under the auspices of the United Nations.
1977: The General Assembly of the United Nations passed a resolution to declare a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.
Since 1977: IWD has been celebrated on March 8th each year.
IWD and Beyond
The impact of International Women’s Day and the awareness it creates extends beyond
the activities of March 8th. Examples of efforts made by countries to improve the
status of women:
-Global campaign on violence against women launched by the United Nations
-The Independent Group on Home-based work - recognizing women’s work in India
-Recent contribution to the Gender Equality Fund made by Spain
-Eliminating human trafficking and violence against women in Nigeria