Women’s Day- It’s Significance and Why we Celebrate It

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Today’s Women’s Day and I thought that after writing so much about women’s equality in my past blogs, I had to write about its significance. To many of us, today means free movie tickets, discounts at restaurants and shops and basically a day of celebration. However there is much more to Women’s Day than all this, which you can learn through its significance.

History

The International Women’s Day is observed all over the world in acknowledgement of the political, social, cultural and economic achievements of women.

It was the consequence of New York labour movements in 1909 that the Socialist Party of America had organized the first Women’s Day on February 28, 1909.

The International Socialist Women’s Conference then suggested an annual Women’s Day in 1910. However it was when women in Russia got the right to vote in elections in 1917 that March 8 was made a national holiday there.

Only the socialist movement and communist countries celebrated Women’s Day since then. March 8th was finally officially declared Women’s Day in 1975 when the United Nations adopted the motion.

Some countries like Afghanistan, Russia and China have declared March 8th an official holiday. Other counties don’t have a public holiday but it’s generally customary for men to present the women in the lives with flowers and small gifts.

Women’s Day

Reason for Women’s Day

The main reason Women’s Day was conceptualized was to mark women’s equality. Not only today, even centuries ago women have always been considered the weaker sex and were not granted the privileges given to their male counterparts.

For example, it was only when Russian women were allowed to vote that Women’s Day was started. It means that there was disparity in the voting system then, where only men were permitted to vote and not women.

This shows that the inequality amongst men and women had existed throughout the world. It’s just that the women in other countries had come out of their shells much earlier than women in India and have gained their independence.

Women in India are today not far behind, and are proving they are equal to men in many ways. This is the significance of Women’s Day, helping women stand up and prove their point.

Just like we need two hands to clap, the human race needs both a man and woman to grow. Why shouldn’t women be treated equally as men? As I’d mentioned in my earlier blogs, women in India have achieved a lot over the past few years in various niches including sports, academics, the corporate world and even in politics and the armed forces.

Women’s Day is held in remuneration of the achievements of all these women, and the women who had made their contributions to women equality in the past.

Women’s Day

Women’s Day colors

Now coming back to the subject of today’s post, International Women’s Day, I’m sure not many of you ever knew that there are colours depicting Women’s Day?

Well, there are, and not one, but three colours- purple, green and white. This combination has always symbolized women’s equality, with origins from UK’s Women’s Social and Political Union in 1908.  

Purple is the colour symbolizing women, justice and dignity while green symbolizes hope, and white, purity. However white no longer signifies purity because it’s a controversial concept.

This led to the introduction of yellow as the colour depicting a ‘new dawn’ and a second wave of feminism. Today purple and green represent traditional feminism while purple and yellow, progressive contemporary feminism.

Women’s Day

Women’s Day theme

Another interesting aspect about Women’s Day I had to share today is the fact that there is a theme for each year. The concept of themes was started by the UN since 1996, and this year’s theme is really unique- “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change’.

This theme really has deep meanings. You need to understand each phrase first to understand the entire theme. ‘Think equal’ means women should not just think equally as men, but also think to create an equal status and position as men. Women should think of providing solutions that help give women equal opportunity and scope as men.

‘Build smart’ obviously means you have to build smart but especially with the use of modern technology. Women have to use their fresh thoughts and ideas, and help materialize and build things with the help of the internet and mobile technology.

This is where the next phrase comes into play, ‘innovate change’. Women should look at the problem in front of them, and find a smart and innovative solution for it that helps improve their productivity and lives.

Simple examples are instead of using mobile phones for only watching movies and chatting, women should learn to improvise and use their phones for time management, to schedule their day’s tasks and even maintain their budget. While women in the corporate world may be well aware about this, others may not even realize it’s possible.

Another example is  a case where a woman had helped deliver a baby in her village using her mobile light because there was no electricity. This lead to the creation of solar lamps which was an innovative change for the village, brought about by a lady because of her imprecision.

It is this Women’s Day theme that also prompts to remove barriers and move forwards towards gender equality. Examples are fighting for equal pay for Woking women as men, and using biometrics for ID so that women who don’t have access to registration documents don’t have to depend on men for them.

So you see, there is so much more to Women’s Day than celebrations. It has its individual history, significance, colours and themes. It is a day marked in honour of the progress women have made, and are continually making in breaking the gender disparity and helping men and women share equal status in society.

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