International Women’s Day: History, Significance, 2019 Theme

The UN Women’s theme for International Women’s Day 2019 is ‘Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change’.

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Sex workers hold a torch light rally demanding work rights ahead of International Women’s Day at Sonagachhi in Kolkata on 3 March 2019. 
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The International Women's Day is observed across the world on 8 March every year to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women from all walks of life.

When Was the First International Women's Day Celebrated?

Supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, the first International Women's Day was celebrated back in 1911. This year will mark the celebrations of the 108th International Women's Day.

When Did the Movement Start?

The movement started in 1908, when 15,000 women reportedly held demonstrations across the New York City in the Unites States, demanding better salary and the Right to Vote.

According to a BBC report, a woman named Clara Zetkin suggested in 1910 that the day be made international, and around 100 women from 17 countries unanimously supported Zetkin’s idea at an International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen.

In 1975, the United Nations (UN) officially celebrated the day with an annual theme.

Theme for International Women’s Day 2019

This year, the UN Women will celebrate the relentless contributions of activists who have been at the centre of the global movement for gender equality and who have been fighting every day to make women’s rights a reality.

The UN Women’s theme for International Women’s Day 2019 is ‘Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change’. The theme “explores ways in which innovation can work for gender equality, boost investment in gender-responsive social systems, and build public services and infrastructure that meet the needs of women and girls,” according to the website.

The International Women's Day campaign, on the other hand, has chosen #BalanceforBetter, as the theme for this year’s celebrations. It is aimed at encouraging people around the world to speed up efforts towards maintaining gender balance.

(With inputs from BBC, UN Women, International Women's Day)

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