Today is International Women’s Day (IWD), a day set aside to celebrate women and their achievements throughout history and across nations. The theme for this year’s celebration is #EachforEqual, and as stated on the official IWD website, “An equal world is an enabled world.”
Held annually on the 8th of March, International Women’s Day is also known as the United Nations’ (UN) Day for women’s rights and world peace. Various women, including political, community and business leaders, as well as leading educators, inventors, entrepreneurs and television personalities, are usually invited to speak at various events throughout the day. These events includes seminars, conferences or luncheons, and messages given at these events often focus on various topics such as women as a driving force for innovation, the portrayal of women in the media, or the importance of education and career opportunities for women.
A little history
The first International Women’s Day occurred on March 19 in 1911. The inaugural event, which included rallies and organized meetings, was a big success in countries such as Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. The March 19 date was chosen because it commemorated the day that the Prussian king promised to introduce votes for women in 1848. The promise gave hope for equality but it was a promise that he unfortunately failed to keep. The International Women’s Day date was moved to March 8 in 1913.
The UN drew global attention to women’s concerns in 1975 by calling for an International Women’s Year. It also convened the first conference on women in Mexico City that year. The UN General Assembly then invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for women’s rights and world peace in 1977. The day aimed to help nations worldwide eliminate discrimination against women. It also focused on helping women gain full and equal participation in global development.
The International Women’s Day logo is in purple and white and features the symbol of Venus, which is a universal symbol of feminity. The faces of women of all backgrounds, ages, and nations are also seen in various promotions, such as posters, postcards and information booklets, on International Women’s Day.
Why do we celebrate?
Much progress has been made to protect and promote women’s rights in recent times. However, nowhere in the world can women claim to have all the same rights and opportunities as men, according to the UN. On average, women receive between 30 and 40 percent less pay than what men earn for the same work. Women also continue to be victims of violence, with rape and domestic violence listed as significant causes of disability and death among women worldwide.
We celebrate International Women’s Day because “an equal world is an enabled world” and Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions. We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perspectives, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements, collectively. Each one of us can help create a gender-equal world. Let’s all be #EachforEqual.
Here at Jumia, we not only advocate for gender parity in every level of our organization, we also ensure that all our women are given the opportunity to succeed at whatever they set out to do, be they employees, customers or vendors. And to celebrate the 2020 iteration of International Women’s Day specifically, we have chosen to offer free nationwide delivery on items in our women’s fashion and women’s fragrances categories.
How would you be celebrating International Women’s Day today? Let us know in the comments section below.