March 8th marks International Women’s Day, bringing attention to the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is “Choose To Challenge”.
In past years, International Women’s Day was celebrated with festivals, marathons and other events across the world. But with the COVID-19 pandemic, most events will be virtual. They range from a Zoom painting event in Sydney to an online marathon in Singapore.
Here’s what you need to know about what International Women’s Day means:
What is International Women’s Day?
International Women’s Day has been observed for more than a century since it began in 1911. The day recognizes the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women globally, and it’s a call to action for gender parity.
No government, corporation, organization or media entity can claim sole credit.
What is the history of International Women’s Day?
The leader of the Women’s Office for the Social Democratic Party in Germany, Clara Zetkin, suggested a celebration in every country on the same day for women to “press for their demands.” This Women’s Day was first observed on March 19, 1911, in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.
Campaigns across Europe against WWI inspired women in other countries to adopt International Women’s Day. The date of observance moved to March 8 in 1913.
The United Nations celebrated International Women’s Day for the first time in 1975 and started the tradition of an annual theme in 1996, according to the official website.
In Ghana this year, the International Women’s Day celebrations have been very silent without the pump and pageantry that has been associated with it due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The theme for the celebrations in Ghana this year is, “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world”.
The First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo has expressed the view that the pandemic has worsened the existing inequalities, hence the need “to adopt pragmatic measures to help close these inequalities.”
“Indeed, building an inclusive and resilient society in tandem with the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals and achievement of the 2021 IWD theme calls for unity and focus, both by women and men in Ghana and yonder.
A challenging world is, indeed, an alert world. Therefore, everyone must truly embrace the challenge by making the International Women’s Day the focal point to contribute their quota, actively, to make a positive difference for women,” she added.
The former First Lady, Lordina Mahama also urged the government to implement policies that will address the country’s gender disparity.
She admitted that the roles played by females in various occupations amidst the Covid-19 pandemic have been commendable and called on several stakeholders to “push for greater reforms to promote the interest of women and protect them from all form of violence.”
She added that making the world a better place implies that female doctors, nurses, scientists, caregivers, researchers among others are given the necessary credit for their tremendous efforts in ensuring the safety of all citizens in such daring times.