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A brief history of international Women’s Day

Today is March 8th, 2023, A day of reflection, celebration, and unity for all women. The sad reality is, no matter what background all women have most likely faced discrimination, abuse, harassment, and lesser pay simply because of not being a man.

International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 every year. It is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women and also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. The history of International Women's Day is long and rich, dating back to the early 1900s.

The first International Women's Day was celebrated on February 28, 1909, in New York City, organized by the Socialist Party of America. The event was inspired by the 1908 New York City garment workers' strike, where women protested against working conditions in the textile industry. The day was observed as National Women's Day in the United States until 1913.

In 1910, a meeting of the International Socialist Women's Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, proposed that a Women's Day be held annually. The proposal was unanimously approved, and International Women's Day was first observed in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland on March 19, 1911.

In 1917, on March 8, women in Russia took to the streets to protest against food shortages, poverty, and World War I. This marked the beginning of the Russian Revolution. The day was declared a national holiday in Russia, and it became a symbol of women's emancipation and their struggle for equal rights and suffrage.

During the 1970s, the United Nations began to celebrate International Women's Day. In 1975, the UN declared March 8 as International Women's Day, and it has been observed globally ever since.

The theme for International Women's Day changes every year, but the overall objective remains the same – to empower women, celebrate their achievements, and call for gender equality. Over the years, many achievements have been made in advancing women's rights, including the right to vote, access to education and healthcare, and equal pay. This year’s theme for 2023 is DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for gender equality.

To highlight some of the issues we still face, have a look at the challenges listed below and see if you can find anything applicable that has happened over is happening in your life.

● The gender pay gap: Women still earn less than men for doing the same job.

● Lack of representation in leadership positions: Women are still underrepresented in politics, business, and other leadership positions.

● Sexual harassment and violence: Women are more likely to experience sexual harassment and violence than men.

● Access to healthcare: Women face unique health challenges and may not have access to quality healthcare.

● Maternal health: Women in some parts of the world face a higher risk of complications during pregnancy and childbirth.

● Lack of education: Girls are less likely to have access to education than boys in many parts of the world.

● Discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation: Women from marginalized groups may face additional barriers to equality.

We would love to hear more about your stories, successes, and struggles so we as FOUGEN can help uplift you with support. This is a safe space, please don’t hesitate to contact our team for help and guidance.

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