International Women’s Day 2018

by Tehreen Islam

The earliest celebration of the Women’s Day dates back to New York on February 28, 1909, and it was organised by the Socialist Party of America. In 1910, the declaration of an International Women’s Day was proposed by Socialist representatives at the International Women’s Conference in Copenhagen. The delegates felt the need to promote equal rights for women and women’s suffrage, and therefore agreed that an international day should be formed as part of a strategy. Countries like – Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland celebrated it first in 1911. And later the date was shifted to March 8. International Women’s Day aims to act as a catalyst for change when it comes to gender equality. It’s been observed for over 100 years around the world, celebrating women’s achievements. This is the day that brings together global governments, women’s organizations, businesses and charities along with all women together under the banner of International Women’s Day. The day is usually marked with talks, performances, rallies, networking events and marches.
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #PressforProgress. In this regard, the official website of the International Women’s Day states, ‘So we can’t be complacent. Now, more than ever, there’s a strong call-to-action to press forward and progress for gender parity. A strong call to #PressforProgress. A strong call to motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.
International Women’s Day is not country, group or organization specific. The day belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. So together, let’s all be tenacious in accelerating gender parity. Collectively, let’s all Press for Progress.’
The original aim of International Women’s Day was to achieve gender equality for women. This is the day when the women of the world come together and speak together with the issues that come as barriers to achieve the goal of this movement. It does make a difference when women of the world come under one cause. We have seen the proof of it last year with the rise of the #metoo movement where women from all over the world came forward to share their story of sexually harassment. Women empowerment is important for a society as well as every individual. A country cannot move forward without letting the women participate in the development process. From politics to economy, women’s participation is crucial for a country’s development.
Bangladesh is an active participant of this movement. Violence against women is seen in every section of the society. Dowry related violence, rape, acid attack, domestic violence, illegal fatwa, sexual harassment, wage discrimination, and social discrimination against women are still alarmingly widespread. The day is observed by different women’s groups through rally, seminars, documentaries and events which aim to raise awareness about the importance of gender equality.

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