Happy International Women’s Day? Why Women Are Not Congratulated on March 8th

It's important to understand that International Women's Day is not a celebration in the festive sense of the word, but rather a commemoration of women's historical struggle for equality

As March 8th, International Women’s Day, approaches, a particular phenomenon in Google search trends can be observed. Thousands of users have turned to this search engine with specific questions: Are gifts given for Women’s Day? Is it appropriate to congratulate women on this date? Why isn’t Women’s Day celebrated? These questions reflect a common confusion about the nature and purpose of this commemorative date.

The increase in searches for terms like “Are gifts given on Women’s Day?”, “Why aren’t women congratulated on March 8th?” and “Why isn’t Women’s Day celebrated?” suggests a need to clarify the meaning and intention behind International Women’s Day. Contrary to traditional celebrations that might suggest the exchange of gifts or congratulations, March 8th has a much deeper and more serious background.

It’s important to understand that International Women’s Day is not a celebration in the festive sense of the word, but rather a commemoration of women’s historical struggle for equality, respect for their rights, and the end of the violence they suffer in different spheres of society. This date emerged from social and labor movements at the beginning of the 20th century and has since transformed into a day of reflection, activism, and claim for rights.

The fact that there is confusion about how to approach International Women’s Day reflects an educational opportunity. It is crucial to spread the message that March 8th goes beyond a simple opportunity to express affection through gifts or congratulations. It is a day to recognize the importance of women’s struggle in history and the present, to value their contributions to society, and to reaffirm the collective commitment to achieving gender equality.

Therefore, rather than looking for the right way to “celebrate” this day, society should focus on reflection and action. Participating in educational events, supporting causes that promote women’s rights, and engaging in constructive conversations are meaningful ways to commemorate this date.

Brief History of March 8th

This date is the result of the demands of the labor movement at the beginning of the 20th century in North America and Europe.

In 1909, the Socialist Party of the United States called to celebrate Women’s Day in that country on February 28th.

A year later, the International Conference of Socialist Women met in Copenhagen, Denmark, and proclaimed the celebration of International Women’s Day as a tribute to the movement for women’s rights and to assist in achieving universal suffrage for women.

The proposal was unanimously approved by more than 100 women from 17 countries, including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament. On that occasion, it was proposed that the celebration be held on March 8th.

On March 8, 1910, the first Spanish woman was admitted to university.

On March 25, 1911, an event that had relevance to women’s rights occurred: a fire in a New York factory killed 123 female workers. The incident highlighted the poor working conditions for women and led to changes in the law.

In 1917, in response to the death of 2 million Russian soldiers in the war, Russian women chose the last Sunday in February to go on strike demanding “bread and peace.” Four days later, the Tsar abdicated, and the provisional government granted women the right to vote. That historic Sunday was February 23rd, according to the Julian calendar used then in Russia, or March 8th, according to the Gregorian calendar used in other countries.

Over the years, several countries joined the commemoration of Women’s Day.

In 1945, the Charter of the United Nations became the first international agreement to establish the principle of equality between women and men.

Theme for March 8th, 2024

International Women’s Day 2024 is celebrated under the theme “Funding women’s rights: accelerating equality.” This call resonates in a complex global context, marked by economic, climatic, and social crises that disproportionately impact women and girls.

The lack of funding is a fundamental obstacle to achieving gender equality. An annual deficit of 360,000 million dollars in measures for this purpose is estimated. International Women’s Day 2024 seeks to mobilize governments, businesses, civil society, and individuals to invest in five key areas:

  • Equal pay for work of equal value: Eliminating the wage gap between men and women is fundamental for economic justice.
  • Decent work for women: Promoting the creation of dignified and safe jobs for women, with access to social protection and job security.
  • Leadership and political participation of women: Increasing women’s participation in decision-making at all levels.
  • Ending violence against women and girls: Eradicating gender-based violence in all its forms, from domestic violence to sexual harassment.
  • Health and sexual and reproductive rights: Ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health, including family planning and safe maternal care.

For the UN, it is also important to support feminisms and movements that drive change.

“Feminist organizations lead the fight against poverty and inequality for women in all their diversity. Yet, they are advocating and working almost without resources, as they receive scant support from international cooperation, multilateral funds, national budgets, or philanthropy. It is urgent to fund feminist and women’s organizations to boost them, as strengthening movements and civil society organizations contributes to democracy, peace, and sustainable development.”

ALSO READ.Best International Women’s Day Quotes for 2024


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