This is happening at a time when women are seen to be marginalized, and reduced to mere assets for men in many societies. Women have in various forms demonstrated that they can equally participate like men in national development.
The quest for recognition of women’s rights leads to the festival dating back to 1909, when across America women marched for better working conditions and voting rights on February 28.
The event was known as National Women’s Day and was organized by the Socialist Party of America. International Women’s Day was born two years later in 1911 after German socialist Luise Zietz suggested a more global celebration at a Socialist International meeting in Copenhagen in 1910.
The trailblazer’s idea was quickly seconded by well-known German socialist Clara Zetkin and the motion was passed by over 100 women in attendance at the meeting.
Two years later, International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time in 1911 with countries including Austria, Denmark, Switzerland and Germany taking part.
Most countries have their own means of celebration, whether they be talks, concerts or marches. And in some countries, including Russia and Vietnam, March 8 is recognised as a public holiday.
This year, International Women’s Day will recognize the economic, political and social achievements of women in an abundance of different ways.
Women who are primary partners to men are regarded as first school of thought for human beings, and first partner to the first human being created by the Lord of Creation.
Education being the basis for realization of human values is, therefore, key for every woman in the world. Therefore, there is need for education and academic empowerment, as well as professional or vocational skills, to enable them serve as models in producing productive future generation.
There is also need for political participation of women, with a view to helping them address numerous challenges confronting women in political decision-making processes.
Society and all conscious governments around the world must ensure that women are truly empowered with no limits on their educational growth and political consciousness and participation in national development.
Ha-Joon Chang, author of Bad Samaritans, states: “The limits on what women are allowed to do not only wastes the talents of half the population,but also lowers the likely qualityof the future labour force; poorly educatedmothers provide poor nutrition and little educational help to their children, thereby diminishing their achievements at schools.”
We must, therefore, encourage women in society to release their talents so as to ensure they contribute in both national and human development.
We hope this year’s celebration will come with positive change of attitude, and brings an end to exploitation of women.
Wish all women a happy and memorable celebration!
“I raise up my voice—not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard...we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”