Health Watch
Highlights:
  • International Womenís Day is celebrated across the world on 8th March every year
  • It creates awareness about the importance of womenís rights for preventing injustice against women
  • It also celebrates the lives of women achievers in various fields of human endeavor

International Women's Day is celebrated on 8th March every year and pays tribute to all women across the globe. The celebrations focus on gender parity, unity, reflection, advocacy and action - all dedicated for the betterment of the lives of countless exploited and deprived women worldwide. It also celebrates the achievements of women in all spheres of life - social, economic, cultural, scientific, and political, among others.

The focus on gender equality is very appropriate for our times as it allows economies to flourish and communities to thrive. Gender equality makes societies healthier, wealthier and more harmonious. Gender equality is being advocated in all types of professions - healthcare, education, science and technology, politics, sports, media, law, and administration, among others.
International Womenís Day: Letís Build a Gender Equal World

International Women's Day is celebrated by everyone, everywhere. The celebrations are not confined to any particular country, organization, charity, academic institution, or women's group. It encompasses all categories collectively everywhere.


In this regard, Gloria Steinem, an internationally renowned feminist, journalist and women's rights activist, once said: "The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights."

Objectives of International Women's Day

The main objectives of International Women's Day include the following:

History of International Women's Day

International Women's Day has been observed for over a century. At the beginning of the 20th century, women's oppression and inequality in all spheres of society reached a peak, which resulted in widespread protests that led to the establishment of International Women's Day in 1908.

The idea for having an annual celebration exclusively dedicated to women's rights and gender equality, came from a woman named Clara Zetkin, who was the Leader of the 'Women's Office' for the Social Democratic Party in Germany. The celebrations officially began in the year 1911, supported by over one million people. Since then, the International Women's Day celebrations have continued to grow from strength to strength throughout the world.

Historically speaking, the awareness colors for International Women's Day - 'Purple', 'Green' and 'White' - signify different aspects of womanhood.
  • 'Purple' signifies dignity
  • 'Green' signifies hope
  • 'White' signifies purity
These awareness colors were adopted way back in 1908, when the celebrations first began.

Theme for International Women's Day 2020

The theme proposed by the United Nations (UN) for the 2020 International Women's Day celebrations is 'I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women's Rights'. The UN's Generation Equality Campaign includes individuals of every gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion and country in order to reach the goal of creating a gender-equal world eventually.

This year's theme is based on the notion of 'Collective Individuality', meaning that when 'individuals' act 'collectively', they can make a difference to society. Therefore, with collective action, it may be possible to create a gender equal world. This is why the hashtag #EachforEqual has been chosen for this year's celebrations.

Disparities in Gender Equality: Facts & Figures

  • 2.7 billion women are deprived of jobs considered to be exclusively for men
  • Women's income is 23 percent lesser than that of men worldwide
  • 24 percent of parliamentary seats are occupied by women worldwide
  • 1 in 3 women have experienced physical or sexual violence worldwide
  • 200 million women and girls have suffered from genital mutilation worldwide
  • There are only 10 female Heads of State and 13 female Heads of Government worldwide
  • Women constitute only 7 percent of all CEOs in the Fortune 500 list
  • Domestic/unpaid work is carried out by women and girls in 80 percent of households in developing countries
  • Only 53 out of more than 900 Nobel Laureates are women since the inception of the Nobel Prize in 1901
  • In 1903, Marie Curie was the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize
  • Marie Curie is the only woman in history to receive the Nobel Prize twice
  • Only 37 percent of media stories are written by female journalists
  • Kathryn Bigelow is the only woman to win an Oscar for Best Director in the 92-year history of the Oscar Awards
  • Only 2.2 percent of female athletes participated in the first Modern Olympic Games held in 1900

Ways to Celebrate Women's Achievements on International Women's Day

Some of the ways to celebrate the achievements of women in various fields are briefly highlighted below:
  • Recognize Women's Contribution to Science and Technology: Women's contribution to scientific discoveries and technological innovations should be duly recognized and rewarded
  • Applaud Equality for Women Athletes: Women athletes should be applauded for their achievements and given equal status with male athletes with regard to pay, sponsorship and visibility
  • Create Inclusive Workplaces So Women Can Thrive: Inclusive and conducive workplaces should be created to help women thrive by increasing their ability to innovate, lead, and uplift their colleagues
  • Encourage Women to Achieve Financial Stability: Women should be encouraged to attain financial stability and become independent, so that they are not a burden to others
  • Empower Women Through Health Education: Women should be empowered through adequate health education so that they are capable of making informed choices about their own health and that of their children
  • Honor Women's Creativity: Women displaying creativity in their respective fields should be encouraged by showcasing their work in public forums and be honored for their contributions

Conclusion

An equal world is an enabled world. Time has come to fight bias, challenge stereotypes, expand perceptions, and improve conditions for the upliftment of women's status in society. We need to make a difference by thinking globally and acting locally.

So, let's make everyday International Women's Day to help girls grow up to be women of substance with a bright future.

References :
  1. Visualize the Data: The Representation of Women in Society - United Nations - (https://www.unwomen.org/es/digital-library/multimedia/2020/2/infographic-visualizing-the-data-womens-representation)
  2. International Women's Day: Gender Equality by 2030 - United Nations - (https://www.un.org/en/observances/womens-day)
  3. About International Women's Day - (https://www.internationalwomensday.com/About)
  4. I Am Generation Equality: Realizing Women's Rights - United Nations - (https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/international-womens-day)
  5. An Equal World is an Enabled World: International Women's Day - (https://www.internationalwomensday.com/)


Source: Medindia

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