May 24, 2024, Friday
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‘Digit ALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.’

International Women’s Day (March 8)

The Nepal Weekly
March 7, 2023

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the historical, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also observed in support of taking action against gender inequality around the world. We all know the world couldn’t run without women. This is the day to appreciate their efforts! Organizations large and small come together to show women just how valuable they are in today’s society. Also make sure to help women around you find resources on scholarships available for women from around the world to help them spread their wings and fly higher.

Susan B. Anthony was a political activist and an advocate of women’s rights. After the Civil War, she fought for the 14th Amendment that was meant to grant all naturalized and native-born Americans citizenship in the hope that it would include suffrage rights. Although the 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868, it still didn’t secure their vote. In 1869, the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) was founded by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony to continue the fight for women’s rights.

In the early 1900s, women were experiencing pay inequality, a lack of voting rights, and they were being overworked. In response to all of this, 15,000 women marched through New York City in 1908 to demand their rights. In 1909, the first National Women’s Day was observed in accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America. This was celebrated on the last Sunday of February until 1913.

An International Women’s Conference was organized in August 1910 by Clara Zetkin, a German suffragist and leader in the Women’s Office. Zetkin proposed a special Women’s Day to be organized annually and International Women’s Day was honoured the following year in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland, with more than one million attending the rallies. On August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified and white women were granted the right to vote in the U.S.

The liberation movement took place in the 1960s and the effort led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act, allowing all women the right to vote. When the internet became more commonplace, feminism and the fight against gender inequality experienced a resurgence. Now we celebrate International Women’s Day each year as we push continuously with the hope of creating a completely equal society.

This year, the theme for the UN International Women’s Day is ‘DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.’ This theme is aligned with the priority theme for the 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW-67), “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”. IWD 2023 will explore the impact of the digital gender gap on widening economic and social inequalities. For example, it is precisely this digital gender gap which isolated women and particularly rural women during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The representation of voices from rural communities was neglected in the transition to holding conversations online on digital platforms, since many women did not have access to digital forums. So, as the UN and the CSW explore the challenges of technology, and inclusion in the digital age, women continue to face serious threats of climate change, particularly in occupations that are dependent on natural environments and where climate stress causes natural disasters. Agriculture, water, forestry, and fisheries are among the sectors impacted by climate change and women are engaged in these sectors as full-time labour or secondary workers in addition to their dependence on natural resources for their livelihoods. Declining crop yields, scarcity of water, lack of fuel and fodder, rural outmigration, frequent natural disasters, and unpredictable rainfall patterns, triggered by climate change has increased the vulnerability of communities especially women, who as managers of the natural resource struggle to survive in these rapidly changing scenarios. Among the gains women have made, in gender mainstreaming, gender sensitive policies, gender inclusive programmes, and gender frameworks and legislation, which ensure that women’s voices are heard, the lack of implementation continues to compound the losses and impedes progress.