Today (March 8) is observed as International Women’s Day. The 2022 theme as proposed by the UN is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, and also a call for “climate action for women, by women.”
The United Nations has said: “Women and girls experience the greatest impacts of the climate crisis as it amplifies existing gender inequalities and puts women’s lives and livelihoods at risk. Across the world, women depend more on, yet have less access to, natural resources, and often bear a disproportionate responsibility for securing food, water, and fuel.”
The UN also added that women are essential to leading and driving change in climate adaptation, mitigation and solutions. Added the organization: “Without the inclusion of half of the world’s population, it is unlikely that solutions for a sustainable planet and a gender equal world tomorrow will be realized.”
International Women’s Day is celebrated worldwide. On this day women are recognized for their achievements, contributions and leadership roles.
History of Women’s Day
International Women’s Day was first officially recognised by the UN in 1977. However, one of the first calls for women’s rights dates back to as early as 1848 when in an anti-slavery convention, Americans Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott gathered hundreds of people in what is said to be first women’s rights convention in the US.
The first time Women’s Day was celebrated was in the United States on February 28, 1909. This day honoured the 1908 garment workers’ strike in New York, where women protested against working conditions.
Years later, in 1917 women in Russia chose to protest and strike for “bread and peace” on the last Sunday of February, which was February 23; this date was March 8 as per Gregorian calendar. Before the revolution Russia had not adopted the Gregorian calendar therefore in 1917, February 23 in Russia corresponded to March 8 in the other European countries.
This is how the idea of Women’s Day was thought of. 1975 was observed as the International Women’s Year and since then March 8 is being celebrated as International Women’s Day.
In India, national women’s day is observed on February 13 to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sarojini Naidu, who was a pioneer in advocating for women’s rights. A political leader and a poet as well, Sarojini Naidu was called as the Nightingale of India. UN on international days and weeks “International days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity,” says the United Nations and adds that the existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool.