International Women’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. International Women’s Day first emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe.
Since those early years, International Women’s Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. The growing international women’s movement, which has been strengthened by four global United Nations women’s conferences, has helped make the commemoration a rallying point to build support for women’s rights and participation in the political and economic arenas.
- 1909 The first National Woman’s Day was observed in the United States on 28 February. The Socialist Party of America designated this day in honour of the 1908 garment workers’ strike in New York, where women protested against working conditions.
- 1910 The Socialist International, meeting in Copenhagen, established a Women’s Day, international in character, to honour the movement for women’s rights and to build support for achieving universal suffrage for women. The proposal was greeted with unanimous approval by the conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, which included the first three women elected to the Finnish Parliament. No fixed date was selected for the observance.
- 1911 As a result of the Copenhagen initiative, International Women’s Day was marked for the first time (19 March) in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, where more than one million women and men attended rallies. In addition to the right to vote and to hold public office, they demanded women’s rights to work, to vocational training and to an end to discrimination on the job.
- 1913-1914 International Women’s Day also became a mechanism for protesting World War I. As part of the peace movement, Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February. Elsewhere in Europe, on or around 8 March of the following year, women held rallies either to protest the war or to express solidarity with other activists.
- 1917 Against the backdrop of the war, women in Russia again chose to protest and strike for „Bread and Peace” on the last Sunday in February (which fell on 8 March on the Gregorian calendar). Four days later, the Car abdicated and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote.
- 1975 During International Women’s Year, the United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day on 8 March.
- 1995 The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a historic road map signed by 189 governments, focused on 12 critical areas of concern, and envisioned a world where each woman and girl can exercise her choices, such as participating in politics, getting an education, having an income, and living in societies free from violence and discrimination.
- 2014 The 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW58) – the annual gathering of States to address critical issues related to gender equality and women’s rights — focused on “Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls”. UN entities and accredited NGOs from around the world took stock of progress and remaining challenges towards meeting the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs have played an important role in galvanizing attention on and resources for gender equality and women’s empowerment.
The UN and Gender Equality
The Charter of the United Nations, signed in 1945, was the first international agreement to affirm the principle of equality between women and men. Since then, the UN has helped create a historic legacy of internationally-agreed strategies, standards, programmes and goals to advance the status of women worldwide.
Over the years, the UN and its technical agencies have promoted the participation of women as equal partners with men in achieving sustainable development, peace, security, and full respect for human rights. The empowerment of women continues to be a central feature of the UN’s efforts to address social, economic and political challenges across the globe.
- achievement – when you succeed in doing something good, usually by working hard – sukces, osiągnięcie
- regard – to think of someone or something in a particular way – wzgląd, zwracać uwagę
- division – when people disagree about something – podział, rozłam
- to emerge – to appear from somewhere or come out of somewhere – wyłaniać się
- labour – work, especially the type of work that needs a lot of physical effort – praca
- to assume – to take a position of control/power/responsibility, etc – obejmować kontrolę/władzę/przyjmować odpowiedzialność itp.
- dimension – a particular part of a situation, especially something that affects how you think or feel – wymiar, aspekt
- strengthen – to become stronger or make something become stronger – wzmacniać (się)
- United Nations – ONZ
- to commemorate – to do something to show you remember an important person or event in the past with respect – upamiętniać
- commemoration – obchody
- to rally – to come together or bring people together to support something – jednoczyć (się) w obronie
- to designate – to choose someone or something for a particular purpose or duty – wyznaczać, mianować, desygnować
- garment – a piece of clothing – część garderoby
- suffrage – the right to vote in an election, especially to vote for representatives in a government – prawo do głosowania, prawo wyborcze
- proposal – a suggestion, sometimes a written one – propozycja, oferta
- to greet – to react to something in a particular way – przyjmować
- unanimous – agreed by everyone – jednomyślny
- approval – when you think that something or someone is good or right – aprobata
- fixed – decided already and not able to be changed – ustalony
- observance – when someone obeys a law or follows a religious custom – przestrzeganie, obrzęd
- initiative – a plan or activity that is done to solve a problem or improve a situation – inicjatywa
- to attend – to go to an event – uczęszczać na, być obecnym
- rally – a large public meeting in support of something – wiec
- vocational – vocational education and skills prepare you for a particular type of work – zawodowy
- elsewhere – in or to another place – gdzie indziej
- backdrop – the situation that an event happens in – kontekst
- provisional – if a situation or arrangement is provisional, it is not certain and might change in the future – tymczasowy
- to grant – to give or allow someone something, usually in an official way – przyznawać, udzielać
- The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action – link
- road map – a plan for achieving something – (= dokładny) plan
- concern – something that involves or affects you or is important to you – sprawa, troska
- to envisage – to imagine something happening, or think that something is likely to happen – przewidywać
- gathering – a party or a meeting when many people get together as a group – zgromadzenie
- entity – something which exists apart from other things – jednostka, całość
- NGO – non-governmental organization – organizacja pozarządowa
- to take stock (of sth) – to think carefully about a situation before making a decision – dobrze się zastanowić (nad czymś)
- galvanize – to make someone suddenly decide to do something – zmobilizować, zdopingować
- charter – a formal, written description of the principles, activities, and purpose of an organization – karta, statut
- to affirm – to say that something is true – potwierdzać
- legacy – a situation that was caused by something from an earlier time – dziedzictwo, spuścizna
- sustainable – able to continue over a period of time – długofalowe
- feature – a typical quality, or important part of something – cecha
- effort – an attempt to do something – próba, wysiłek