International Women’s Day is celebrated worldwide on March 8th every year. The day is commemorated and considered a national holiday in some countries like China, Macedonia, Russia, Vietnam and Ukraine. Countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom among other countries don’t declare March 8th a national holiday. However, in these countries, special events are held to officially recognized International Women’s Day as a day to remember and celebrate women’s past and present struggles and achievements.
Having understood what the International Women’s Day is and what it is all about, it is important to look at the reasons why this day is important. Although most people try to commercialise March 8th in many ways like holding commercial campaigns for individual financial gain, you should never forget the real reasons why international women’s day is important. So what are the 3 main reasons for celebrating International Women’s Day ?
1. To reflect on the progress women have made over the past century
This is one of the main reasons why March 8th is an important date. The International Women’s Day helps the world reflect on where women have come from. In the beginning of the 20th century, women started entering the paid workforce. They were only allowed to do certain jobs in certain fields such as manufacturing, textiles and domestic services. These fields paid the lowest wages and had the worst working conditions.
In the early 1900′s in the U.S., a union known as the Women’s Trade Union was formed by professional women and women who considered themselves as liberals. Their intention was to campaign for women rights, the right to vote and also to organize themselves to improve their role and welfare in economic and political arenas.
The first ever Womens Day was held on 23rd February 1908 when women socialists, trade unionists and professionals all came together and held demonstrations aimed at addressing women’s welfare and their right to vote. In 1909, the second women’s day took place in Manhattan. By 1910, Women’s day had spread throughout the United States.
Over a century later, International Women’s Day is now a worldwide event, celebrated on March 8th, aimed at recognizing the progress women have made in terms of taking up active roles in society and fighting for their rights. Without a day like March 8th, very few people would take time to remember or reflect on how far women have come, which is very important in continuing the fight for women’s rights.
2. To call for change
Although women have come a long way, in their struggle and progress for equality, there are still very many countries, especially in the Middle East, where women are still denied basic human rights like; freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of worship. Without a day like International Women’s Day, calling for women’s rights to be respected around the world, there would be no reason for change to take place in countries where women are still oppressed. International Women’s Day isn’t meant to just celebrate women’s achievements but also to call for change where necessary.
3. Celebrating courageous women who have made significant contributions in the fight against women’s oppression.
Progress that has been made over the past century as a result of a few brave women who decided to do something to uplift the role of women in society. It is important to recognise these women who found the courage to speak out for the benefit of all women in society.
The above three reasons summarize why it is important to celebrate International Women’s Day every year on March 8th. Women contribute a lot to the welfare of society which is why they should be recognized and given an active role like men. Although there are many people today focusing on commercialising March 8th by viewing the day as an opportunity to make financial gains through selling things like T-shirts and wrist bands, you shouldn’t forget the real reasons why celebrating this day is important.