Happy International Women’s Day!

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can caste a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

Mentioned above are the words by Mother Teresa. Only a ‘woman’ could have the courage to utter such pure words. I won’t say, ‘a great woman’ because that would probably mean over emphasizing the word – woman. A woman is by default ‘great’. A woman is a full circle. Within her, is the power to create, nurture and transform. One of the most famous saying goes, “Behind every successful man is a woman.” Ever wondered who lies behind a successful woman? Well, the answer is – the woman herself.

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The History

International Women’s Day, was originally called the International Working Women’s Day and is celebrated on March 8 every year. Women’s Day commemorates the movement for women’s rights.

The earliest Women’s Day observance was held on February 28, 1909, in New York and organized by the Socialist Party of America. On March 8, 1917, in the capital of the Russian Empire, Petrograd, a demonstration of women textile workers began, covering the whole city. This was the beginning of the Russian Revolution. Seven days later, the Emperor of Russia Nicholas II abdicated and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. March 8 was declared a national holiday in Soviet Russia in 1917. The day was predominantly celebrated by the socialist movement and communist countries until it was adopted in 1975 by the United Nations. The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day in the International Women’s Year, 1975. In 1977, the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for women’s rights and world peace.

The United Nations have an official theme for celebrating women’s day every year, since 1996.

1996 – Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future

1997 – Women and the Peace Table

1998 – Women and Human Rights

1999 – World free of Violence against women

2000 – Women uniting for Peace

2001 – Women and Peace: Women Managing Conflicts

2002 – Afghan Women Today: Realities and Opportunities

2003 – Gender Equality and the Millennium Development Goals

2004 – Women and HIV/AIDS

2005 – Gender Equality Beyond 2005; Building a more secure future

2006 – Women in decision-making

2007 – Ending Impunity for Violence against Women and Girls

2008 – Investing in Women and Girls

2009 – Women and men united to end violence against women and girls

2010 – Equal rights, equal opportunities: progress for all

2011 – Equal access to education, training, science and technology

2012 – Empower rural women, end poverty, and hunger

2013 – A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women

2014 – Equality for women is a progress for all

2015 – Empowering women, empowering humanity: Picture it!

2016 – Planet 50-50 by 2030: step it up for gender Equality

2017 – Women in the changing world of work: Planet 50-50 by 2030

The Present

Valentine’s Day is called the day of love. The day demands the celebration of love between two lovers, brothers and sisters or parents, and children. But, today people celebrate this day of love spending money on gifts for their special ones or buying them beautiful cards. Trying to make the day a special one, they forget the true essence of the day. Likewise, Women’s day has lost its significance altogether. We find many feminist writers or speakers trying to create an existence for women in the society. Among all this, the true reason behind the fight remains blurred. There is nothing known to mankind that women can’t do. Women have reached space with men, women are heading huge groups of industries ahead of men, women are riding airplanes just as men do and what not. The male chauvinist society today needs to accept the fact that women don’t demand staying ahead of men in every area; all that is asked for is letting them stand parallel to men. “The role of women in the development of society is of utmost importance. In fact, it is the only thing that determines whether a society is strong and harmonious, or otherwise. Women are the backbone of society,”- quoted in the words of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

Here’s to all the women out there, remember Oprah Winfrey’s words that said, “There’s no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling, it’s why you were born.”  Be proud of your identity, for you have all that it needs to show off, for one is not born a woman; one becomes one.

Happy International Women’s Day 🙂

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