International Women's Day
For a long time it seemed as though the most powerful man in the world would be a woman, when last year, Hilary Clinton made such great advances in the race for the American presidency and seemed so very close to making it. Her candidature raised larger issues for women the world over, and the continued plight of so many while others take great strides in female empowerment.
When is Women's Day?
8 March, is celebrated as Women's Day all over the world, and one cannot help but think, if this day is even relevant anymore? Do women need the patronizing attitude from the world that presumes to 'help' or 'uplift' women, or 'better their lot'? it is natural for those women who consider themselves liberated and modern women; who do not need external crutches to get on with life and do what it is that they want to with it, to feel some indignation. Many women, would be correct in saying that "I think I have empowered myself and do not need someone else to do that for me!"
How did it Originate?
What is amazing is that Women's day came into being a hundred years ago when when 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.
So this day dates back to the pre-women's-liberation era! So they needed it then, but why do we need this relic from the past today? But when one introspects a bit, it is easy to see that a majority of women in the world are not empowered, either socially or economically, or educationally.
What is its relevance today?
In the less developed countries, there is still the practice of paying dowry to get your daughter married off. Female feticide (aborting a pregnancy when the fetus is discovered to be female) and even infanticide (killing girl children after they are born) are still shocking realities of the world. Women still suffer domestic abuse and violence, and this is no less true for the developed countries. These and many others reasons therefore, make Women's Day relevant even today.
The international women's day is an occasion for governments to take stock of the economic, political, educational and health situations that their female citizens are in and formulate policies and programs for bettering their positions. Women's groups also take this opportunity to organize group discussions, distress camps, open sessions etc to give aid to women in need of succor. New initiatives for education both for the girl child as well as adult literacy gain new momentum at this time.
This then is the relevance of International Women's Day even today.