“#One day I will” was Google’s Doodle used yesterday to make us remember the celebration of the International Women’s Day. But what is the IWD and what does the 8th of March really mean for women and girls today?
IWD is first of all the day dedicated to remember the social, cultural, economic and polotic acheivements of women, which for decades fought for gender equality.
The roots of this celebration can be traced to 1908, year in which around 15,000 women walked down New York City’s streets asking for better pay, shorter working hours and to obtain the right to vote. A year later, on the 28th of february, the first Women’s Day was celebrated in the US thanks to the Socialist Party and in 1910 Clara Zetkin, leader of Women’s office of Germany’s Social Democratic Party suggested the idea of a wordwilde celebration of the International Women’s Day, to push the acheivement of their demands.
In 1911, on the 19th of March, the IWD was celebrated in Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and Austria for the first time; but even if two years later it was decided to transfer the Women’s Day to the 8th of March just in 1975 this day has been recognized by the United Nations as a celebration’s day.
The reason why is still important to celebrate this day is because the acheivement of gender equality has still not been realised; figures shows that still in the present days there is a gap across the globe between men and women in terms of education, violence, heath and presence in politics and business. As an example, today only a fifth of Parliamentary seats are held by women and just 19 on 196 head of states are women. Also only 55 of the 500 richest people in the world are women.
It is because of this that this year’s theme of the IWD is called “Planet 50-50: Step It Up for Gender Equality” and it will look at what is best to do to make sure the 2030 agenda on women’s empowerment and access to capital will be acheived.
So we can say that the meaning of the 8th of March for women today can be summarised in the words of the former Uk development minister Lynne Featherstone who today said: “Winning! Never again having to fight the historic power-hogging political, religious and cultural forces that have oppressed and suppressed women through the centuries. Justice would be done.”