Governments and organizations around the world have come up with different initiatives to celebrate women’s achievements and to highlight challenges they face in a predominantly patriarchal society. Noteworthy to mention is setting designation of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month in some countries.
International Women’s Day is observed annually on March 8 all over the world to highlight the achievements and problems faced by women. The theme for this year is ‘Choose to Challenge’, a call for women worldwide to challenge the status quo and stand up for an equitable world.
This year’s International Women’s Day was celebrated amid the COVID-19 pandemic bringing to light the vast women’s contributions and inequalities being faced by women and girls around the globe. Women stand at the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, as health care workers, caregivers, innovators, community organizers and as some of the most effective national leaders in combating the pandemic.
According to the unwomen.org website, “women of the world want and deserve an equal future free from stigma, stereotypes and violence; a future that’s sustainable, peaceful, with equal rights and opportunities for all. To get us there, the world needs women at every table where decisions are being made”.
Women’s History Month has been observed in the United States since 1987 to celebrate women’s contributions to history, culture and society. During the month-long observance; organizations, schools, communities and other groups observe the month to reflect on the often-overlooked contributions of women to United States history. Similar month-long observances occur in other countries.
The actual celebration of Women’s History Month grew out of a weeklong celebration of women’s contributions to culture, history and society organized by the school district of Sonoma, California, in 1978. Presentations were given at dozens of schools, hundreds of students participated in a “Real Woman” essay contest and a parade was held in downtown Santa Rosa.