The 8th of March is not only the eighth day in the month of March, but it is also the International Women’s day (IWD), which is celebrated globally to appreciate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The International Women’s day started to be celebrated because of the situation at the beginning of 1900 – time when the big expansion and turbulences in the world of industrialization saw growth in the population and popularization of radical ideologies. The International Women’s day is a day for global celebration and call for gender equality. Many organizations gave their opinion for the subject of IWD that supports their agendas or purposes, and some were accepted more broadly than the others.
“The story of women’s fight for equality doesn’t belong to a feministic or other organization, but to the collective efforts of everyone who respects human rights”, states Gloria Steinem, world famous feminist, journalist, and social and political activist. The International Women’s day is for celebration, reflection, advocacy, and action – although represented on a global level, reflected on a local level. But, one thing is certain: The International Women’s day is celebrated more than a century – and the impact is bigger and bigger with each year.
The day of women’s rights is made official by the ONU on the 8 of March 1977. It’s a day of celebrations all over the world.
Why the 8 of March ?
Because in March 1911, one million of women protested in Europe; because in 1913, Russian women organized illegal meetings; because in 1914, in Germany, women claimed the voting right for them; because in 1915, in Oslo some women defended their rights and fought for peace; because in 1917, in Saint Petersburg women workers organized some strikes in their factories.
And every of those events happened the 8 of March.
In Iran, there is two days to celebrate the women’s rights, the first is dedicated to celebrate the rights of married women and the second day is the celebration of girls (and unmarried women in general).
In Iran, the official calendar is the Persian calendar, but for the religious events they follow the Islamic calendar for Muslim people, and the Julian calendar for Catholics.
According to the Islamic calendar, the day of girls is the “1 Zil q’ade” which is the birthday of Masoumeh, the daughter of the seventh Chi’ite Imam Musa Al-Kazim, and the women’s day is the “20 Jamadi ol sani” in commemoration of Fatima’s birthday (The daughter of Mohamed).
During one week, married people who don’t live anymore with their parents are joining with the whole family in the parental house to celebrate this event. They bring some flowers, presents and sometimes cakes also. However, those days are not holidays, so people are still going to work. Lot of couples wants to jump on this opportunity to celebrate their wedding during this event. Indeed, tradition says that people who get married during this day will have a happy life together.
At school, this day is celebrated for the girls who receive some flowers and musicians are coming to sing for them.
For me, this day is meaningful because it allows to enlighten the wage disparities that women have to face, and every inequalities in politic, in the companies or in the everyday life. But also to speak about the mistreatment of women in many countries, about forced marriages, and conjugal violence. This day also allows to remind that women have rights, we have to respect if she says “No”, and we are not allowed to insult her according to how she is dressed or anything else. Every of those stupid acts made by unconscious, unbrain people are highlighted in front of the world. Finally, this day is important to raise all women’s voices that can’t speak freely.
Nowadays, Women’s day is still crucial. Because since we are not able yet to reach parity between men and women, then we’ll have to celebrate this day again.
Afra, Ivana & Cyrielle