International Women’s Day

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Women celebrating International Women’s Day

Catherine Lysaught, Staff Writer

International Women’s Day is on March 8 and this year, the theme is “Press for Progress.” March 8 is dedicated to celebrating women around the world and the accomplishments they have made, no matter their nationality, race, or religion.

International Women’s Day was originally only celebrated in the United States and was founded in 1909 in New York to commemorate the 1908 strike of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union. “In 1910, National Women’s Day became International Women’s Day at the second International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen, where more than 100 women from 17 countries decided to establish a worldwide day of celebration to press for working women’s demands” (Vox.com).

International Women’s Day did not become popular until 1977 when the United Nations decided that it would occur annually on March 8. Every year since then, women have been gathering to celebrate female accomplishments and to work towards gender equality.

Since 2001, the holiday has come with an annual theme which serves as the goal women should try to work towards for the upcoming year. The 2018 theme is #PressForProgress and is aimed at encouraging gender parity in economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment. “Press for Progress is supposed to be a call for people to press forward without complacency, and make positive changes and move towards equality” (Metro.com).

All around the world from China to Chile, women planned protests, strikes, and marches to celebrate as well as turn to social media to show their support for International Women’s Day and for the feminist movement.Women in Spain planned 24 hour walkouts to protest unequal pay and violent treatment to women. The women of Pakistan held their first ever march to protest the lack of education for girls and the lack of support for working women. The women of Uganda rallied together to unify against abuse to women in their country (NPR).

In countries like England, South Korea, and the United States, women celebrated the acknowledgement they had begun to receive through the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements. This year, with the participation of members from these movements, International Women’s Day has spread to have a larger impact on the world. Already in 2017 and 2018, women have started more protests about the inequality they are faced with and the conditions in which they live.

International Women’s Day was created for the goal of honoring the women who have made an impact and to increase gender equality around the world. International Women’s Day is meant to celebrate women who have overcome diversity and achieved their goals and to promote gender equality in all societies of the world.