The roots of International Women’s Day go back to early 1900s, with celebrations and observations taking place in many countries on different dates. In 1977, the United Nations General Assembly voted March 8 as International Women’s Day, and it is still being observed on the same date since then.
At the turn of the 20th century, International Women’s Day first surfaced from the labor movements in Europe and North America. The first International Women’s Day celebration was observed back in the 1908’s when 15,000 women marched in a group on the streets of New York, in demand of their rights. From then onwards, every year on 8th March the world comes together to inspire, motivate raise and support women across all walks of life.
As the world celebrates womanhood on International Women’s Day (March 8th), we have selected 3 inspirational female figures and here are their stories:
1# Kyi Mar empowers women to become leaders – Myanmar
22-year-old Kyi Mar lives in a village in Myanmar. Kyi Mar is a part of the Fellows program, which is arranged to encourage and inspire the future generations of young leaders and to help out women to have a voice in the community.
Kyi Mar is an Actionaid Fellow worker in the Kan Ka Lay, Dry Zone, village of Myanmar. Despite many men in her community objecting to her involvement, including her own father, she still took up the challenge of educating and empowering woman to take a stand for what they want and make certain that their views and opinions are also included in the administrative and decision making process of their region. She also works amid some other Fellows to run after school clubs for kids which helps to make them conscious of their rights from an adolescent age.
2# Najiba, Women’s Rights Paralegal – Afghanistan
Najiba trains and educates women about their rights in Afghanistan. The 32-year-old Women’s Rights Paralegal says – “In Afghanistan women aren’t viewed as human beings or equal partners”. Najiba is Afghanistan’s one of the first female paralegals with help of ActionAid training.
She works to fight against the rising tide of brutality and violence against women in Afghanistan by enlightening them on their rights. Despite all the risk associated with her work she still continues to help women and she says she won’t give up.
3# Christal is engaged in educating people about protection from Ebola – Liberia
Ebola has been dominating the headlines for quite some time all over the world. Many organizations have been there from the very start of the crisis helping people by teaching them how to protect themselves from the virus and by providing survivor kits.
Christal lived in the UK for past 12 years, but has returned to Liberia, her home country to work with the intention of helping people fight the Ebola epidemic. With the purpose of making sure that people’s stories were being heard, she put her own life at risk day after day. She witnessed her friends and colleagues got infected and passed away. But Christal continued to stay there for few months and helpied a number of people in rebuilding their lives.
The purpose of International Women’s Day is to focus on a concoction of themes like modernization, the depiction of women in media, or the significance of career opportunities and education. 8th March is declared as a holiday in some countries, while in others it is celebrated by organizing street marches, debates sessions and a variety of other programs.
A woman not only plays several important roles in her family, but she also plays diverse roles in the society. Women have been successful to arrive at superlative positions where even men also struggle at times. Participation in International Women’s Day is an opportunity for everyone to celebrate the infinite contributions of women to the world as well as to accentuate the role they play in shaping our future.