Woman: the fierce force behind a successful business, a prosperous country, a growing community, a loving home, a nurtured garden, a disciplined child, a lively party and ...
And there is no end to this sentence. The fierce force of a woman is in every aspect of our life. Our very life is existent because of a woman.
Today we speak about International Women's Day (IWD), which grew out of the labour movement to become an annual event recognised by the United Nations.
International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality. International Women's Day has become a date to celebrate how far women have come in society, politics and in economics,
The seeds were planted in 1908, when 15,000 women marched through New York demanding shorter working hours, better pay and the right to vote. (I must share the shorter working hours meant working for 10 hours every day and not more.)
This march left an impact and in 1909, the Socialist Party of America declared 28th February as the first National Woman's Day.
In 1910, Clara Zetkin (pictured left), a communist activist and advocate for women's rights, suggested the creation of an international day for women.
She put her idea to an International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen - and the 100 women there, from 17 countries, agreed to it unanimously.
International Women's Day was first celebrated in 1911, in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. In 1913-1914 on the eve of World War I campaigning for peace, Russian women observed their first International Women's Day on February 23, the last Sunday in February.
Following discussions, International Women's Day was agreed to be marked annually on March 8 that translated in the widely adopted Gregorian calendar from February 23 - and this day has remained the global date for International Women's Day ever since.
The centenary was celebrated in 2011, so this year we're technically celebrating the 111th International Women's Day!
In 1975 United Nations recognised this day and International Women's Day was made an official day worldwide.
Each year International Women's Day adopts a theme. The first theme adopted (in 1996) was "Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future". The theme for 2022 is "Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow".
IWD 2022 campaign theme: #BreakTheBias
Imagine a gender equal world; a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.
A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
A world where difference is valued and celebrated.
Together we can forge women's equality.
Strike the IWD 2022 Pose
Few causes promoted by the United Nations have generated more intense and widespread support than the campaign to promote and protect the equal rights of women.
The Charter of the United Nations, signed in San Francisco in 1945, was the first international agreement to proclaim gender equality as a fundamental human right.
Since then, the Organization has helped create a historic legacy of internationally agreed strategies, standards, programmes and goals to advance the status of women worldwide.
Over the years, United Nations action for the advancement of women has taken four clear directions: promotion of legal measures; mobilization of public opinion and international action; training and research, including the compilation of gender desegregated statistics; and direct assistance to disadvantaged groups.
Today a central organizing principle of the work of the United Nations is that no enduring solution to society's most threatening social, economic and political problems can be found without the full participation, and the full empowerment, of the world's women.
UN on "IWD 2022 Theme - Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow"
Women and girls are effective and powerful leaders and change-makers for climate adaptation and mitigation.
They are involved in sustainability initiatives around the world, and their participation and leadership results in more effective climate action.
Women constitute the majority of world's poor and are more dependent on the natural resources which climate change threatens the most. They are increasingly being recognized as more vulnerable to climate change impacts than men.
This year’s IWD observance is in recognition and celebration of the women and girls who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation and response, and to honour their leadership and contribution towards a sustainable future.
Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day.
We can break the bias in our communities.
We can break the bias in our workplaces.
We can break the bias in our schools, colleges and universities.
Together, we can all break the bias - on International Women's Day (IWD) and beyond.
Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding! Celebrate this day for all the women in your life.
Happy Women's Day!
Image Courtesy: International Women's Day, Wikipedia and UN