Short Article on International Women's Day
Monday, March 16, 2009, 11:32 AM
International Women's Day
-Irfath Ara Iva
For the women of the world, this Day of 8th March is an occasion to review how far they have come in their struggle for equality, peace and development. Even though about half of the world population is women and they have a significant contribution in the rise of civilization, but unfortunately, decade after decade women of the world are oppressed, suppressed and their contribution in different stages of life is under enumerated. Actually for a sound and sustainable development it is pertinent to ensure the equal justice towards women. Realizing the importance of the fact, the United Nations General Assembly on 1977 formally proclaimed the celebration of International Women's Day to recognize that peace and social progress require the active participation and equality of women, and to acknowledge the contribution of women to international peace and security.
Background of the Day
Though the International Women’s Day has been observed since 1975 in an organized way, there is a long history to observe the day. It was said in the history that the International Women's Day has been observed since in the early 1900's, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world, that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.
In 1869, British MP John Stuart Mill was the first
person in Parliament to call for women's right to vote. On
In 1910, a second International Conference of
Working Women was held in
The very first International Women's Day was launched the following year by Clara Zetkin on 19 March (not 8 March). The date was chosen because on 19 March in the year of the 1848 revolution, the Prussian king recognized for the first time the strength of the armed people and gave way before the threat of a proletarian uprising, among the many promise he made which he later failed to keep, was the introduction of votes for women. Gradually Plans for the first International Women's Day demonstration were spread by word of mouth and in the press. During the week before International Women's Day different articles were published. And all articles emphasized the same point that it was absolutely necessary to make parliament more democratic by extending the franchise to women.
In 1913, International Women's Day was transferred to 8 March and this day has remained the global date for International Women's Day ever since. During International Women's Year in 1975, International Women’s Day was given official recognition by the United Nations and was taken up by many governments. International Women's Day is marked by a national holiday in may countries like China, Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam etc.
Importance of the Day:
Undoubtedly, the origin of a child is a mother, a woman- she shows a man what loving, caring and sharing is all about. Indeed a woman’s essence lies in her innate ability to care, love and sacrifice for the other. She plays an all-enveloping character of a mother, daughter, wife and sister as a friend, nurturer, guide and partner from time to time. Emotional and vulnerable, sometimes erratic, sometimes serene, she displays a wonderful range of emotions from being patient to being extremely courageous in times of crisis.
Tormented and subjugated throughout all times and ages, women have fought their way through exploitation, harassment, and have managed to secure their rights in the public domain. In spite of continuing exploitation and injustice against women both in the domestic and work sector today, several milestones have been achieved in terms of education, freedom of choice and liberty, equality etc. With growing literacy and financial independence women feel more empowered today to assert their right to a life of dignity and self worth. The Women's Day celebrated on 8th March is a universal day for all women . It endows them with a sense of honour, dignity and self respect for being the person that they are. This day marks a celebration of the economic, social, cultural and political achievements made by women over the years.
Every year hundreds of events are held throughout the world to mark International Women’s Day on 8 March. The occasion provides an opportunity to think about the persisting gender inequalities that prevail in most societies and also draw inspiration from innovative efforts underway to address these injustices. Some one might think that women's equality benefits mostly women, but every one-percentile growth in female secondary schooling results in a 0.3 percent growth in the economy. Until the men and women work together to secure the rights and full potential of women, lasting solutions to the world's most serious social, economic and political problems are unlikely to be found.
International Women's Day 2009 Theme:
Each year around the world, International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. Hundreds of events occur not just on this day but throughout March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organisations, governments and women's groups around the world choose different themes each year that reflect global and local gender issues. Women and men united to end violence against women and girls is the theme for 2009.
Below are some of the global United Nation themes used for International Women's Day to date:
2008: Investing in Women and Girls
2007: Ending Impunity for Violence against Women and Girls
2006: Women in decision-making
2005: Gender Equality Beyond 2005: Building a More Secure Future
2004: Women and HIV/AIDS
2003: Gender Equality and the Millennium Development Goals
2002: Afghan Women Today: Realities and Opportunities
2001: Women and Peace: Women Managing Conflicts
2000: Women Uniting for Peace
1999: World Free of Violence against Women
1998: Women and Human Rights
1997: Women at the Peace Table
1996: Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future
Women and Development World:
Today’s world is changing at a startling pace. Political and economic transformations seem to be occurring everywhere as countries convert from command to demand economies, dictatorships move toward democracy, and monarchies build new civil institutions. These changes have created economic opportunities for women who want to own and operate businesses. Despite of women’s participation in the socio-economic and political development, women have less access to manage their money. Demographic factors such as education, household income, age and marital status influence how a woman manages her money. Women do two-thirds of the world's work but receive only 10% of the world's income. Besides, the majority of the world's 1.3 billion absolute poor are women. On average, women receive between 30 and 40 per cent less pay than men earn for the same work. Furthermore, everywhere women continue to be victims of violence, with rape and domestic violence listed as significant causes of disability and death among women of reproductive age worldwide.
Though the political participation of women has
significantly increased in the recent era throughout the world, women occupy
13.8% of parliament seats around the world. Regional averages of
percentage of women in parliament vary greatly. The Nordic countries have
the highest percentage with and the Arab states have the lowest with women
occupying. The other regions fall somewhere in between with the
Devoid of success in some areas there are some issues on which should be considered with great attention and extensive task should be done. As women are significantly under-represented in some areas and still 80% of the world's 27 million refugees are women, 530,000 women die in pregnancy or childbirth each year.
As a member state of the United Nations, Bangladesh Government has signed and ratified several International treaties and agreements by this time. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women,1979, the Convention on the Political Rights of Women, 1953, the Convention on Consent to Marriage Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriages, 1962, the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 1984, the International convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, 1990, the International Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, 1966, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989, Amendment to Article 43 (2) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1995 are the most remarkable among them.
International Women’s Day and Bangladesh:
International Women’s Day was observed in
- Absence of legal regime to apply treaties Wednesday, November 4, 2015
- Human rights in IPRs regime Wednesday, November 4, 2015
- Elusive Victim - Protection in Criminal Litigation: Legal Framework & Challenges Monday, June 8, 2015
- Application of UDHR by Supreme Court of Bangladesh: Analysis of Judgments Sunday, January 13, 2013
- International Widows Day as Observed by BSEHR Saturday, July 9, 2011
- Rumana – a victim of violence and mindset Wednesday, June 29, 2011
- Security of the Human Rights Defenders in Protecting Human Rights in Bangladesh Wednesday, December 22, 2010
- Legal Education System in the UK: An Overview Saturday, May 2, 2009
- Crime and Criminality: An Overview Saturday, April 25, 2009
- Ex- parte Disposal of Civil Revisions: High Court Can Restore and Re-hear under the Code. Saturday, April 18, 2009
- Short Article on International Women's Day Monday, March 16, 2009
- "Combating Human Trafficking in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues and Options Monday, December 10, 2007
- LEGAL RIGHTS AND GENDER EQUITY Monday, December 10, 2007
- Trafficking in Person: A General Resource Paper Monday, December 10, 2007
- “BURDENED WITH RESPONSIBILITY- ENTRAPPED WITHOUT RIGHTS”: Monday, December 10, 2007