International Women’s Day, 2018

International Women’s Day. Every year, March 8 is celebrated as International Women’s Day. It’s a time to promote women’s rights, celebrate female achievements and inspire gender equality movements. Before the UN adopted it in 1977, the day was mostly celebrated in socialist and Communist countries. The UN celebrates the day on the basis of different themes. International Women’s Day is a global celebration of the social, cultural, economic and political achievements of women. It is celebrated annually on March 8. The past year saw unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice.

 Global marches and campaigns, including #MeToo and #TimesUp were taken up throughout the world on issues ranging from sexual harassment, femicide, equal pay, women’s political representation, among others. Echoing the sentiment, this year’s International Women’s Day theme is #TimeIsNow: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives.

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Theme of International Women’s Day

Theme of International Women's Day
Theme of International Women’s Day 2018

Themes play an important role in the celebration of the day. It widens the context of women and their rights across the world and highlights the atrocities women face and the need to end them.

The Theme for International Women’s Day 2018 – “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”. (#PressforProgress.)

The Theme for International Women’s Day 2017 – “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030” (#BeBoldForChange.)

The Theme for International Women’s Day 2016 – “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”.

The Theme for International Women’s Day 2015 – “Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture it!”

The Theme for International Women’s Day 2014 – “Equality for women is progress for all”.

The Theme for International Women’s Day 2013 – “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women”

The Theme for International Women’s Day 2012 – “Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty.

History of International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day (IWD) has been observed since the early 1900’s – a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. International Women’s Day is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity. No one government, NGO, charity, corporation, academic institution, women’s network or media hub is solely responsible for International Women’s Day. Many organizations declare an annual IWD theme that supports their specific agenda or cause, and some of these are adopted more widely with relevance than others.

At 1910 International Woman’s Conference, March 8 was suggested to be observed as “International Woman’s Day.” March 8 also became a national holiday in Soviet Russia in 1917 after women gained suffrage there. The day was then predominantly celebrated by the socialist movement and communist countries until it was adopted in 1975 by the United Nations.

International Women’s Day quotes

  • ‘We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.’ – Malala Yousafzai
  •  ‘Well-behaved women seldom make history.’ – Laurel Thatcher-Ulrich
  • ‘A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.’ – Irish Proverb
  • ‘One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.’ – Simone De Beauvior
  •  ‘Don’t let anyone tell you-you’re weak because you’re a woman.’ – Mary Kom
  • ‘Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.’ – Oprah Winfrey
  • ‘There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made.’ – Michelle Obama
  • ‘The education and empowerment of women throughout the world cannot fail to result in a more caring, tolerant, just and peaceful life for all.’ – Aung San Suu Kyi

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