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Sunday, March 8, 2015

107th International Women’s Day – An overview

Smt. Nandita Mohanty
Chairperson, Women Sub-Committee
AIPEU, Gr.-C, Bhubaneswar Division
            Women has the power to multiply,  to intensify and to glorify. If you give her a smile, she will give you her heart.
             Today we are celebrating 107th International Women’s Day all over the world. International Women’s day is celebrated on 8th March every year. In different parts of the World it is celebrated separately. In some regions of the World it is celebrated to show respect, appreciation love towards women. In some it is celebrated as the social, economic and political achievement of women. And now a days in some countries it is celebrated by men to show their love and respect to women like the “Mother’s Day” and “Valentine’s Day”. 

             The earliest Women’s Day was observed on 28th February 1909 in New York by the Socialist Party in America in remembrance of 1908 strike of Women Workers. The International Women’s Day is also popularly known as International Working Women’s Day. Before twentieth century life of women in society was very miserable. They don’t have right to education, right to work, right to acquire property and even right to vote.  Suffragettes campaigned for women's right to vote. The word 'Suffragette' is derived from the word "suffrage" meaning “ the right to vote”. International Women's Day honours the work of the Suffragettes, celebrates women's success and reminds of inequities still to be redressed.  

            The International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8th March every year throughout the world since 1911 to glorify the economic, social and political achievement of women’s past, present and future .In some countries like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria it is observed as National Holiday. Thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organizations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women's groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day. Various organizations identify their own International Women's Day theme, specific to their local context and interests. Many charities, NGOs and Governments also adopt a relevant theme or campaign to mark the day. For example, organizations like the UN, Oxfam, Women for Women, Care International, Plan, World Association of Girl Guides & Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and more - run exciting and powerful campaigns that raise awareness and encourage donations for good causes. The UN has been declaring an annual equality theme for many years. 

            The earliest Women’s Day observance was held on February 28, 1909, in New York; it was organized by the Socialist Party of America in remembrance of the 1908 strike of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. In August 1910, an International Women's Conference was organized to precede the general meeting of the Socialist Second International in CopenhagenDenmark. Inspired in part by the American socialists, German Socialist Loose Zietz proposed the establishment of an annual 'International Women’s Day and was seconded by fellow socialist and later communist leader Clara, although no date was specified at that conference, delegates (100 women from 17 countries) agreed with the idea as a strategy to promote equal rights, including suffrage, for women. The following year, on March 19, 1911, International Women’s Day was marked for the first time, by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. In the Austro-Hungarian Empire alone, there were 300 demonstrations. In Vienna, women paraded on the Ringstrasse and carried banners honouring the martyrs of the Paris Commune. Women demanded that women be given the right to vote and to hold public office. They also protested against employment sex discrimination. Americans continued to celebrate National Women's Day on the last Sunday in February.

In the West, International Women's Day was first observed as a popular event after 1977 when the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for women's rights and world peace. 

All around the world, International Women's Day represents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality. This year the theme of International Women’s Day is MAKE IT HAPPEN .Make It Happen is the 2015 theme for our global hub encouraging effective action for advancing and recognizing women.  

            Gandhiji said, ‘Intellectually, mentally, and spiritually, woman is equivalent to a male and she can participate in every activity."From Sita in Ramayana to Kannagi in Silapatkaram to Rani Jhansi are not only celebrated women but also their contribution to social change and awareness had been immense. Even Ramakrishna Parmahamsa is said to have worshipped his wife. Gender is western concept. India is the original home of the Mother Goddess. Only in India Woman is worshipped as Sakti [Strength], Saraswati [Knowledge] and Lakshmi [Prosperity]. No other country or religion in the world worships women-hood in the way India does. In Hindu Mythology women is said to have been given absolutely 50% of Mental, Spiritual and physical space in the life of a man, when Shiva is illustrated to have done this in Ardhanareeswar form. India is fortunate to have many great women in ancient Vedic Days like Gargi, Maitreyi, Biswambhara and in Modern India Annie Besent, Sister Nevedita, Vijayalakshmi Pandit, Mother Teresa, Sarojini Naidu to Indira Gandhi, Kalpana Chawla, Indra Nooyi to Pratibha Singh Patil and many more in the Indian Corporate sector who have proved to be more than a match . Their contributions to Society in whole and to Women in Particular is invaluable. 

            According to a feminist writer woman is all powerful. She has the power to multiply, to intensify and to glorify. If you give a sperm to her she will give you a baby .If you give her a house she will give you a home. If you give her the groceries she will give you the meal. If you give her a smile she will give you her heart. She multiplies and glorifies whatever you will give to her.

            In Modern Indian society women are playing stellar role, even challenging the males in Politics. More importantly their role in family building, society development is stupendous. Indian woman is emerging out of their conventional role, realizing their unlimited potential and have begun to take major role in all walks of life.

            We are really fortunate to be the proud members of All India Postal Employees Union, Group-C which provides such a nice platform in the name of Women Sub-Committee to honour the talents and troubles of the women employees in India Post. Bhubaneswar Division is the only Division in Odisha Circle to have such a Sub-Committee. Feeling extremely proud while celebrating this historic day on behalf of the Women Sub-Committee of AIPEU, Group-C, Bhubaneswar Division, I would like to sincerely appeal all to join hand in hand and heart with heart to make it happen for advancing and recognizing women. 

Woman Unity Long Live.

AIPEU Long Live.

N F P E Long Live

India Post Long Live.

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