8th March is celebrated as International Women’s Day all around the globe. It venerates the achievements of women struggle for the equal social, political, cultural, and economic rights. On 28th February 1909, first women’s day was observed in New York, USA. On 8th March 1917, it was celebrated in the Russian capital, Petrograd by the women textile workers. Women constitute half of the world population, but they had to struggle a lot even to achieve the partial equality so far. During the industrial revolution, women were paid the lesser wage than male workers for the equal work hours. In various democratic countries, women didn’t have the right to vote for a long time. In the first decade of 20th century, the suffrage movement was started in various parts of the world to gain the fundamental voting right for women.
Although the women’s day celebration was a part of the suffrage movement; at present, it symbolises the global women struggle for equal rights and opportunities. In the year 1975, United Nations started celebrating women’s day and proclaimed 8th March as UN day for women’s rights and world peace. The United Nations issues a particular theme for women’s day celebration each year. The Theme for the year 2017 is ‘’Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030.’’ Many government and non-government agencies all around the world run programmes for women regarding the issues related to their health, employment and social justice. It also offers the platform to honour the women’s achievements in economic, political, social and cultural fronts.
The significance of women’s day is far more in developing and underdeveloped countries of Asia and Africa, where women are denied even their fundamental rights. The non-government agencies, self-help groups and government bodies are taking initiatives to empower women by providing them education and skill training. These agencies also help women to struggle against any gender disparity and social injustice. Various non-profit agencies have started the gender sensitization workshops in school, colleges and other institutions to aware people about the need for the gender equality.
A century-long struggle has created a much better society for women, but we are still lagging behind the goal of the absolute gender equality. In India, Parliament House denied the women reservation bill that ensures one-third women representative in Indian Parliament. It shows the lack of concern about women’s equality in the largest democracy of the world. This struggle is not just women-centric but a movement to make the world a better place for all. We can achieve absolute equality only when both men and women participate in bringing gender parity in the world. Each year, we celebrate Women’s day to remind ourselves the urgent need of women’s awakening and equal rights.