Article by Katherine Reilly
Every Year on March 8th, we celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD). Most people don’t know the history behind this significant celebration, nor the meaning it continues to have in this day and age. IWD commemorates the movement for women’s rights and the struggles they have been through to achieve equality in today’s modern society.
Historically, while the first celebration of Women’s Day was held on February 28, 1909 in New York, March 8 was suggested by the 1910 International Woman’s Conference to become an “International Woman’s Day.” After women were entitled to suffrage in Soviet Russia in 1917, March 8 became a national holiday there. It was then adopted in 1975 by the United Nations and has become a universal day of honor and respect towards women.
The pursuit of better working conditions, the right to vote, and equal rights to men were the main objectives of female activists around the world. Their persistence eventually bore fruit and women’s position in society drastically improved. Nonetheless, this would not be the case in all countries and gender racism is still prominent in many social circles today.
IWD has become a day equivalent to Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day. Wishes or the offering of gifts to women, is a symbol of reverence and adoration; a harsh contrast to the days of old, when women were considered nothing more than a means to procreate or were forced to stay at home, occupying themselves with house chores and manual labor.
IWD symbolizes the greatest aspects of humanity – respect, love, equality. It is a symbol of hope to future generations and will eternally send a message to all circles of hate that mankind CAN and WILL evolve to accept diversity in any form.
Happy International Women’s Day!