First informally observed in 1909, the International Women's Day in its illustrious journey has marked the plight and achievements of women for more than a century.
Since then the day has been officially recognized by the UN and is celebrated across the world. It is celebrated on March 8 every year.
Here are some more facts on International Women’s Day
- Socialists first put forward the idea of advancing women's suffrage through a day to mark women's enormous contribution to humankind. The event was marked by more than a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.
- It began as a cry for women to be given the right to vote. Britain saw it happening in 1918 and it was just last year that Saudi Arabia said that women will be allowed to hold public office and will be given equal employment rights as men.
- Interestingly, in present times, only a fifth of parliamentary seats are held by women and only 19 heads of state out of a possible 196 are women. While this is seven more than what was 20 years ago, there is still much progress to be made.
- The annual "international women's day" was first organised by the German socialist and theorist Clara Zetkin along with 100 delegates from 17 countries in March 1911.
- Women are also predicted to face another 118-year wait for the gender pay gap to close, with only 55 of the 500 richest people in the world being women.
- The new agenda for International Women’s Day is to build on the unfulfilled Milennium Development Goals, and has a stand-alone goal just for the empowerment of women and girls as a core means of tackling economic underperformance, global overpopulation and poverty worldwide.
- International Women’s Day also celebrates the achievements of women throughout history.
- In some countries, the day is a national holiday.