International Women's Day

holiday to recognize women globally

International Women's Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women’s Day, is marked on March 8 every year. It is a major day of global celebration of women. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women's economic, political and social achievements.

USSR postage stamp, 50th anniversary of International Women's Day, March, 8; 1960

Quotes edit

  • On March 6, 1979, Khomeini declared that women working in government offices must wear the veil; “naked women” could not work in Islamic ministries. Two days later, for International Women’s Day, tens of thousands of women spontaneously came out and marched on the streets of Tehran chanting “In the dawn of freedom, there is an absence of freedom.” Some women were bareheaded, others veiled, including some in full chador, the all-enveloping black cloak that was worn only by the most pious and conservative. There were men, too, including some who formed a protective cordon around the women as they came under attack. Feminists from around the world flocked to the protests, including the American activist Kate Millett, the author of Sexual Politics. Soon as many as a hundred thousand women were on the streets. For six days, they protested the assault on their personal freedom. Rarely—if ever—had women organized so quickly and spontaneously after a revolution. But Iranian women in Iran had gained many rights under the shah, including the right to vote, to run for office (in 1963), and to wear whatever they wanted. In an effort at modernization, the shah’s father (the first Pahlavi to rule) had briefly tried to ban the veil altogether in 1935, but that forced conservative families to keep their daughters at home for modesty. The move was quickly reversed. What Iranian women wanted was the choice: to veil or not to veil.
    • Kim Ghattas, Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East (2020)
  • Rights groups worldwide celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) they commemorate women’s achievements and call for equality. But for an event championed by international nongovernmental organizations and major global corporations, it may surprise some that IWD was born out of the U.S. socialist movement in the early 20th century. In 1909 the Socialist Party of America organized a New York City march commemorating a garment workers’ strike the previous year. The party called it National Women’s Day, and women organized by the group demonstrated for better pay and working conditions as well as the right to vote... The Socialist Party continued to hold Women’s Day celebrations on the last Sunday of February for the next few years, and newspapers from the era mentioned International Women’s Day on Feb. 27, 1910 — when thousands of women organized by the socialist movement gathered at Carnegie Hall... European women, meanwhile, were championing similar ideals... IWD, consequently, was celebrated for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on March 19, 1911. Women in these countries demanded the right to vote, to hold public office and the right to work...
  • Russian women began celebrating IWD in 1913... After the Russian Revolution, the day was declared a holiday in the Soviet Union. From there, it was primarily celebrated in communist countries such as China. On the heels of the U.S. civil rights movement.. and as leaders such as Gloria Steinem fought sex discrimination in the 1960s and ’70s, the United Nations declared 1975 as International Women’s Year. In 1977 the U.N. officially marked IWD by inviting member countries to celebrate women’s rights and world peace on March 8. Today, IWD has corporate sponsors... But as the website points out, millennial women have lived in a time in which there are so many advances for women that they may think the battles fought by their second-wave feminist sisters have already been won. “The unfortunate fact,” it reads, “is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women's education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men.”
  • Women of the world want and deserve an equal future free from stigma, stereotypes and violence; a future that’s sustainable, peaceful, with equal rights and opportunities for all. To get us there, the world needs women at every table where decisions are being made. This year, the theme for International Women’s Day (8 March), “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world,” celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and highlights the gaps that remain. Women’s full and effective participation and leadership in of all areas of life drives progress for everyone. Yet, women are still underrepresented in public life and decision-making, as revealed in the UN Secretary-General’s recent report. Women are Heads of State or Government in 22 countries, and only 24.9 per cent of national parliamentarians are women. At the current rate of progress, gender equality among Heads of Government will take another 130 years.

Why I March quotes edit

  • So that our daughters will know their bodies are their own. So our sons embody gentle strength. So they can dismiss both labels #WhyIMarch
    • Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) January 21, 2017 [1]

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