Women's Day Has Proud History

Article excerpt

INTERNATIONAL Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 across the world.

IWD is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women in the past, present and future.

It is a day when women are recognised for their achievements, regardless of divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.

It is an occasion for looking back on past struggles and accomplishments, and more importantly, for looking ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women.

In 1910, Clara Zetkin, the leader of the Women's Office for the Social Democratic Party in Germany tabled the idea of an International Women's Day at the second International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen.

The proposal received unanimous assent from over one hundred women representing seventeen countries.

The very first International Women's Day was held the following year on March 19.

Meetings and protests were held across Europe with the largest street demonstration attracting 30,000 women.

The day sparked great public debate, and advocates drew attention to the absolute necessity of extending the right to vote to women to make parliament more democratic.

In 1913, IWD was transferred to March 8 and has been held on this day ever since.

In 1975, during the UN International Year for Women, the United Nations held its first official celebrations of International Women's Day.

Two years later, in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International Peace to be observed by member states.

In adopting this resolution, the General Assembly recognised the role of women in peace efforts and development and urged an end to discrimination and an increase of support for women's full and equal participation. …