International Women’s Day (IWD)

PHYSICAL HEALTH 2010

Many countries around the world celebrate International Women’s Day when women are recognised for their achievements without regard to barriers of nationality, ethnicity, language, culture, or politics. The occasion prompts us to recall past struggles and achievements but also to look forward to the untapped potential and opportunities awaiting future generations of women.

International Women’s Day grew from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the last century with the day being commemorated for the first time on 19 March 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, when over one million women and men attended rallies.

Since its inception, International Women’s Day has taken on a new global dimension for women in both developed and developing countries.

The United Nations began celebrating 8 March as International Women’s Day, during International Women’s Year in 1975. In 1977 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that proclaimed a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace, which was to be observed on any day of the year by Member States with them following their historical and national traditions.

Having a day dedicated exclusively to the celebration of the world’s women recognises that in order to secure peace and social advancement and total enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms it is essential to have the active participation, equality and development of women; and it acknowledges women’s contribution to the strengthening of international peace and security.

For women throughout the world, the Day holds a wider meaning: It is a time for reflection and review on how far they have come in their struggle for equality, peace and development and it creates an opening to unite, interact and mobilise for real, purposeful change.