Community & Current Events

International Women's Day: history and how to celebrate it in 2023

International Women's Day: history and how to celebrate it in 2023

Community & Current Events

International Women's Day: history and how to celebrate it in 2023

March 8 is International Women's Day, but what exactly do we celebrate on this important date?

Also known as International Women's Rights Day, this day aims to bring feminist struggles to the forefront. It aims, among other things, to reduce inequalities between women and men.
So here's everything you want to know about International Women's Day:

How did Women's Day start?

In the 1900s in America and Europe, many women took to the streets to demand basic rights. They demanded the right to vote, but also to work. In 1907, German politician Clara Zetkin held a conference demanding women's rights. Two years later, in 1909, a first demonstration took place in the United States for the same reasons.
It was finally in 1910 that Clara Zetkin led a second conference during which she proposed that Women's Day be celebrated once a year, which was voted "yes" unanimously. It was also on this day that Zetkin proposed maternity leave, among other things.
The First World War forced a large number of women to work since all the men were in combat. This only fueled the cause of women's rights in the labor market as they were paid half the salary of men for the same job.
Following a revolution sparked by the feminist movement in Russia, Clara Zetkin declared March 8 as the official Women's Day around the world.
The day was forgotten in the following years because it was associated with Russia, which had a bad reputation at the time, and because women had now obtained the right to vote, people considered the struggle over.
It was only in the 1960s, in the midst of the hippie "peace and love" movement, that feminism became a major cause again, and the UN finally made Women's Day official in 1975.

Why does Women's Day exist?

Women have had the right to vote in Canada since 1918, but only in 1940 in Quebec. Our rights are therefore behind those of men, who have always had the right to vote.
To erase this delay and reach equality, we must not forget the struggle that has already been made, and what remains to be done. International Women's Day is a time to remember this. It is also a time to celebrate the achievements of women around the world.

What are the feminist struggles?

Although the right to vote has now been achieved almost everywhere (except in the Vatican where only the Catholic Church can vote, and it does not allow women), then why are women fighting today?
Among many causes, one thinks of wage inequities. In 2018 in Quebec, the man made $3 more per hour than the woman on average. The gap is even greater for racialized women.
Let's not forget the rights to access abortion and contraception, recourse for women victims of domestic violence or harassment, lack of representation both in government and in the media, and the list goes on.

What is the theme for 2023?

Since 2010, International Women's Day has had a theme to make the celebration more specific.
In 2023, it is "For an inclusive digital world: innovation and technologies for gender equality". From the early days of computing to the current era of virtual reality and artificial intelligence, women have made countless contributions to the digital world in which we increasingly live. Their accomplishments have stood out against all odds in a sector that has never truly welcomed or valued them.

Journée internationale des droits des femmes - ONU FEMMES

Today, a persistent gender gap in digital access prevents women from fully exploiting the potential of technology. Their underrepresentation in STEM education and careers remains a major barrier to their participation in technology design and governance. Moreover, the pervasive threat of gender-based online violence - coupled with the lack of legal recourse - too often forces them out of the digital spaces they occupy.




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International Women's Day: history and how to celebrate it in 2023