Each year International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 when thousands of events occur all over the world in celebration of the achievements of women.
The first International Women’s Day (IWD) was in March 1911. It had its origins in America a few years earlier where women had come together to protest against poor working conditions, resulting in a National Women’s Day being declared by the Socialist Party of America. Subsequently at an International Conference for Working Women in Copenhagen, attended by delegates from 17 countries, and including the first 3 women elected to the Finnish Parliament, a proposal to have a special day each year to focus on women’s issues was met with unanimous approval. International Women’s Day has evolved into a global day of celebration of the achievements of women, socially, politically, and economically. Women’s rights campaigners highlight inequalities and raise money for Charity and Celebrities the world over associate themselves with the day.
The United Nations recognized International Women’s Day in 1975 and for the past 19 years it has designated a global theme for the day. Their theme for 2014 is ‘Inspiring Change’.
The need for change has been very much highlighted by the publication this week of a European Union wide report on violence against women. This report, reveals the startling statistic that one in 3 women across 28 member states of the EU has experienced either physical or sexual violence since the age of 15.
It is interesting to note that the United Nations has returned to the need to stop violence against women as a theme for International Women’s Day time and again as can be seen below.
1999 World free of violence against women
2007 Ending impunity for violence against women and girls
2009 Women and men united to end violence against women and girls
2013 Time for action to end violence against women.
Some groups, countries and organizations select their own theme for IWD. It is not surprising therefore to find that the EU has adopted as its theme ”Preventing Violence Against Women – a Challenge for all” for IWD in 2014. This is their Poster .
On International Women’s Day we rightly celebrate our ”celebrity women” who have made a difference to the lives of many, but we must not forget the ordinary women such as the 1 in 3 who suffer abuse who are the most extraordinary of all.
Happy Women’s Day to all my readers!