Every year, March 8 is celebrated the world over as International Women’s Day. As an event, International Women’s Day first gained global attention in 1977, when the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the United Nations Day for Women’s rights and World Peace.
Every year, International Women’s Day is celebrated in accordance with a theme – this year’s United Nations theme “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women“ aims to encourage free dialogue between member states, in an effort to put an end to gross human rights violations that nearly 7 in 10 women, the world over, are victims of. The 2013 United Nations theme for International Women’s Day fits into the theme of the 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women being held at the United Nations Headquarters, New York. Making the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls its major theme, the session seeks to focus on two key areas – (1) the prevention of violence and (2) the provision of support systems and rehabilitative measures to victims of violence.
Far from New York, International Women’s Day is celebrated as an official holiday in many countries including Afghanistan, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cuba, Georgia, Guinea Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhastan, Kyrgyztan, Laos, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. In some countries, like China, Macedonia, Madgascar, and Nepal – the holiday is meant to be taken by women only.
This year, the United Nations has taken a great deal of effort in trying to further its theme and will be making available a live webcast of the events as they unfold in the United Nations Headquarters.