Every year, nations all over the world celebrate the achievements of the women on March 8th. Its called the International Women Day (IWD). While it is widely celebrated now, it was not always like this. Years ago, women had to fight just to get this day of global celebration. The earliest observance even had a different name.

The campaign for the first IWD started with the celebration of the first National Woman’s Day in the United States on February 28, 1909. This day was set aside by the Socialist Party of America in honour of the 1908 garment workers’ strike in New York, this is where women protested against the terrible working conditions. The following year, a woman named Clara Zetkin called for the National Woman’s Day to be made international. She shared her idea at the International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen, Denmark. Her proposal received unanimous approval from over 100 women from 17 countries.

The first celebration of International Women’s Day finally occurred on March 19, 1911. It was honoured in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. To mark the day, over one million men and women took to the streets to demand the right to vote, hold public office, and work freely without discrimination.
Commemoration of International Women’s Day today ranges from being a public holiday in some countries to being largely ignored elsewhere. In some places, it is a day of protest; in others, it is a day that celebrates womanhood.

While the day celebrates how far women have come, it also highlights how much work is left to be done. As such, each year’s theme is selected based on what is happening at the time. The UN theme for 2019 International Women’s Day was: ‘Think equal, build smart, innovate for change’. The focus of the theme was on innovative ways in which to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women, particularly in the areas of social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure. This year, the UN theme for the 2020 International Women’s Day was : ‘I am Generation Equality’: Realizing Women’s Rights’.

The International Women’s Day is a national holiday in several countries like Russia, China and Italy. In the US, the entire month of March is used to celebrate women. It called the Women’s History Month. The IWD is an official holiday in the some African countries eg- Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Madagascar (for women only), Uganda and Zambia. But Cameroon, like Nigeria, the day is not a public holiday but but is widely observed nonetheless.

Today like all other days, Staff and Students of ArRayhan International School remember and honour our mothers, sisters and daughters, and wishing them long live, peace and posterity.

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