International Women’s Day 2016: Origin, Facts & Ways to Celebrate

International Women's Day

The world celebrates International Women’s Day today. As we celebrate our own personal victories, freedoms, courageous choices and determination, here are the details on how this day came into being.

According to International Women’s, the idea of this global and female-centric day can be credited to German Clara Zetkin. She proposed the idea at the second International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen in 1910.

The US, however, was already celebrating National Woman’s Day on the last Sunday of February till 1913. Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on the other hand celebrated its first International Women’s Day on March 19, 1911. The United Nations celebrated the occasion from 1975 onwards.

Today, the day is celebrated on a global scale. According to The Telegraph, 2016 marks the 105th anniversary of the this occasion. UN’s theme this year is aptly titled, “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality.” According to their press release, the UN will be organising events in almost 40 countries. The events will involve luminaries from various fields like the arts, sports, etc. They will even involve students and ordinary citizens to commit to “Stepping It Up for Gender Equality.”

Today, Australia has taken the opportunity to discuss key issues in line with the UN theme. In fact today, Australia’s six senior women politicians gathered in the cabinet room of the Parliament to celebrate International Women’s Day, reveals Sydney Morning Herald.

Senator Michaelia Cash called on the government, employers, and the community to have a review of the practices that stop women from participating in the work force. She implored for changes in them. Sydney Morning Herald also reveals that Senator Cash aims to remove the barriers for women and men, so that they can be in a position to make choices rather than get forced into doing things.

The International Women’s Day timeline:

1908: 15,000 women marched through New York City for demanding for better living conditions. This included voting rights, better pay and shorter working hours.

1909: The first National Woman’s Day was celebrated by the US on 28 February.

1910: Clara Zetkin proposed the idea at the second International Conference of Working Women held in Copenhagen.

1911: The first International Women’s Day was celebrated by European countries such as Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on March 19. The day saw more than a million women and men participants.

1913: International Women’s Day was celebrated on the last Sunday in February in Russia for the first time.

1913: March 8 was set as the date to celebrate International Women’s Day globally.

1975: The UN celebrated International Women’s Day for the first time.

1996 onwards: UN started adopting a unique annual theme to mark the day.


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