International Women’s Day is a globally celebrated event that takes place on March 8 every year. The day is meant to honour and celebrate the achievements of women in various fields, and highlight the challenges that they still face. The day has a rich history and is celebrated in several ways around the world. This blog explores some of the most interesting facts about International Women’s Day.
International Women’s Day Dates Back Over a Century
The origins of International Women’s Day date back to the early 20th century. In 1908, 15,000 women marched through the streets of New York City to demand better working conditions, better pay and the right to vote. The first National Woman’s Day was observed in the United States the following year. It wasn’t until 1911 that International Women’s Day was first celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. Since then, the day has grown to become a global celebration of women’s achievements and a call to action to fight for gender equality.
The Official Colour of International Women’s Day is Purple
Purple is the official colour of International Women’s Day. It was chosen because it symbolises justice and dignity, two values that are central to the fight for gender equality. The Women’s Social and Political Union first used the colour in the United Kingdom in 1908. The suffragettes used purple, white and green to represent loyalty & dignity, purity and hope respectively.
The Theme for IWD 2023 is “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality”
Every year, International Women’s Day has a theme that reflects the current issues and challenges facing women. The theme for 2023 is “DigitAll” which aims to shed light on the widening economic and social disparities caused by the digital gender gap. Additionally, it will emphasise the significance of safeguarding the rights of women and girls in digital arenas and tackling gender-based violence facilitated by online platforms and information and communication technologies (ICTs).
International Women’s Day is a National Holiday in Some Countries
In some countries like Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Zambia, IWD is recognised as a public holiday.
The Gender Pay Gap & Inequality are the Significant Issue Highlighted on the Day
The gender pay gap is one of the most significant issues that IWD aims to address. In many countries, women are paid less than men for doing the same job. In fact, women carry out ~2.5 times more unpaid work compared to men. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2020, it will take 257 years to close the global gender pay gap. This issue is often highlighted on International Women’s Day and there are various initiatives aimed at closing the gap.
Women have made Significant Contributions to Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM)
Though women have made significant contributions to multiple fields throughout history, their achievements are often overlooked or forgotten. International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate and recognise the contributions that women have made in these fields. For example, Marie Curie was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Physics and Chemistry. Then there is Ada Lovelace who is considered the world’s first computer programmer. However, despite these notable achievements, women continue to be underrepresented in STEM fields, with many facing discrimination and bias.
Violence Against Women is a Key Focus of International Women’s Day
Violence against women is a global issue that affects millions of women every year. International Women’s Day is an opportunity to raise awareness of this issue and to call for action to end violence against women. The United Nations has even designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The day is often linked to International Women’s Day.
International Women’s Day is Celebrated Differently Around the World
While the day is celebrated globally, it is celebrated differently in different countries. In some countries, it is a day of protest and activism, while in others, it is a day of celebration and giving out Women’s Day gifts. In Italy, for example, men give women yellow mimosas, while in Russia, men give women flowers and gifts.
Now that you are all aware of the day, celebrate her accomplishments and show your gratitude towards all the special ladies in your life.