International Women’s Day

 

Context:

  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, in his message  on the eve of International Women’s Day, which is observed every year on March 8.

 

Background:

  • International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global holiday celebrated annually on March 8 to commemorate the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements of women. 
  • It is also a focal point in the women’s rights movement bringing attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women.
  • Spurred on by the universal female suffrage movement that had begun in New Zealand, IWD originated from labor movements in North America and Europe during the early 20th century. 
  • The earliest version was purportedly a “Women’s Day” organized by the Socialist Party of America in New York City February 28, 1909.
  • This inspired German delegates at the 1910 International Socialist Women’s Conferenceto propose “a special Women’s Day” be organized annually, albeit with no set date; the following year saw the first demonstrations and commemorations of International Women’s Day across Europe.
  • After women gained suffrage in Soviet Russia in 1917 (the beginning of the February Revolution), IWD was made a national holiday on March 8; it was subsequently celebrated on that date by the socialist movement and communist countries.
  • The holiday was associated with far-left movements and governments until its adoption by the global feminist movementin the late 1960s.
  • IWD became a mainstream global holiday following its adoption by the United Nationsin 1977

 

About the Universal Suffrage Movement:

  • Women’s suffrage is the right of women to vote in elections. Beginning in the mid-19th century, aside from the work being done by women for broad-based economic and political equality and for social reforms, women sought to change voting laws to allow them to vote.
  • National and international organizations formed to coordinate efforts towards that objective, especially the International Woman Suffrage Alliance(founded in 1904 in Berlin, Germany), as well as for equal civil rights for women.

Source: THE HINDU.

 

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