International Women’s Day
The idea of an international women’s day was first put forward at the turn of the 20th century. In 1910 the first international women’s conference was held in Copenhagen by the Second International and an international women’s day was established by German Socialist Clara Zetkin. In 1911, International Women’s Day was marked by more than a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on March 19. In 1913, International Women’s Day was transferred to March 8 and this day has remained the global date for International Women’s Day ever since. In 1975, the United Nations started celebrating March 8 as International Women’s Day. The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, in his message, said ‘This year on International Women’s Day, we convert our outrage into action. We declare that we will prosecute crimes against women — and never allow women to be subjected to punishments for the abuses they have suffered.’ the UN Women executive director, Michelle Bachelet, called for action on ending violence 20. against women. In her message for the day, Bachelet called on the international community to deliver on their commitments and to protect women’s right to live free of violence. Iterating that a change is possible and is happening in many parts of the world already, Bachelet called on all governments to accelerate progress and concrete policy actions to end violence against women. ‘This year on International Women’s Day, we say enough is enough.’ ‘Discrimination and violence against women and girls has no place in the 21st century. It is time for governments to keep their promises and protect human rights in line with the international conventions and agreements that they signed onto.