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Monday, March 7, 2011

In Focus: International Women’s Day (IWD)

The world celebrates International Women’s Day. On this day, we recognize the value of women in the family and their contribution in shaping the future of our society and country.

International Women’s Day is an annual global event but sometimes it just passes our attention. Often, we would give flowers to important women in our lives as our token of appreciation but do we really know what this day means to world history?

International Women’s Day has a strong political and human rights concept behind it. It aims to draw political and social awareness about the struggles of women in terms of working conditions and discrimination. The Socialist Party of America has declared the first IWD on March 19, 1911 in Germany due to worldwide industrialization, which has led to labor protests. Celebration of IWD spread over different countries in Europe. In Russia, the IWD demonstrations have been believed to be the initial stages of the Russian Revolution of 1917 that has brought down Czarist Autocracy in the country and has led to the creation of Soviet Union. In fact, Lenin has declared IWD as a non-working holiday.

Perhaps, in many democratic societies, discrimination against women isn’t that prevalent. In countries like the United States, where people are free to exercise their basic rights, women are more liberated. In fact, their Secretary of State is a woman. Who knows, maybe the next President of America, would be a woman! Remember, Americans have chosen an Afro-American to become their president in the last elections, which has been inconceivable in the past many years. However, there is still a long way off to fully achieve a gender equal society.

Women are equal with men in all respects. It’s time to realize that fact and abandon any taint of discrimination. It’s not far-fetched. 

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