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International Women’s Day 2019: History, significance, Date, theme-all you need to know

Women’s Day is celebrated to root for achievements of women and push for gender equality.

India TV Lifestyle Desk India TV Lifestyle Desk
New Delhi Updated on: March 08, 2019 0:10 IST
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International Women’s Day 2019

International Women's Day is a celebration of womanhood and acknowledgment of their contribution to the social, political, cultural and economic achievement of a nation. The celebration of womanhood cannot be confined to just a day. However, to push for women's rights, International Women's Day is celebrated across the globe. Women are suffering on many fronts. For example, though we are in 2019, gender disparity still prevails in society. World Economic Forum said the gender gap won't be bridged until 2186.  A 2017 report stated that global equality gap between men and women won't vanish before 100 years. It also brought attention to the pay gap. The report claimed that in 2017, women worked "for free" for almost 51 days of the year because of the gender pay gap. 

2017 was also the year when #MeToo campaign gained worldwide popularity when women across the world openly spoke about sexual harassment and abuses they have faced. Even TIME magazine named these women- 'The Silence Breakers', their Person of the Year. However, in India, it was 2018 when #MeToo movement became widespread with women calling out their sexual predators openly on social networking sites.

Significance- Why Do We Celebrate Women's Day?

This worldwide event is celebrated to root for achievements of women and push for gender equality. The day celebrates political, cultural, economic and social achievements of women. Women organisations, NGOs, corporations, charities and governments join hands to cheer for gender parity. The day is marked with different events such as art performances, talks, rallies, networking events, conferences and marches.

History-When did it started?

Though the history is unclear, its roots can be traced to 1908, when around 15,000 women marched down the streets of New York demanding voting rights, shorter working hours and better pay. Next year, a declaration by the Socialist Party of America marked February 28 as National Woman's Day in the US. Later in 1910, a German lady Clara Zaetkin, who was also the leader of the women's office for the Social Democratic Party in Germany proposed the idea of International Women's Day, which was unanimously approved by more than 100 women present at the conference. 17 countries gave nod to her proposal and International Women's Day was formed. 

For the first time, it was celebrated on March 19,1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Later in 1913, the day was shifted to March 8 because March 8, 1917 as per Gregorian calendar is a significant day for Russian women. 

Well, there is another version which says that Women’s Day was first observed on February 28, 1909 in New York. It was later in 1910, at the International Woman’s Conference when March 8 was finalised as Women’s Day.

How is International Women's Day celebrated across the world?

The day to cheer for women's rights is celebrated in all countries including United Kingdom, Russia, China, Japan, Brazil, India and the United Arab Emirates. Many countries have their own traditions linked to it, for example- In Italy, women are given bouquets of yellow mimosa flowers.

International Women's Day 2019 Theme

Every year, a theme is picked on Women's Day and globally, the whole celebration and discussion revolves around it. This year's International Women's Day theme is “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change”. ''The theme will focus on innovative ways in which we can advance gender equality and the empowerment of women, particularly in the areas of social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure,'' as per UN Women site.

Is There Any International Men's Day?

Calm down, men! International Men's Day is celebrated on November 19 every year in 60 countries of the world. Its focus is on men's and boy's health and the role models in society.

Happy Women's Day to all powerful ladies reading this. Remember, you're special!


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