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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 08 March, 2021

  • 3 Min Read

International Women’s Day-Background

International Women’s Day

Background

  • Among the many “international days” initiated by the United Nations, the best known is the one for women. Given its widespread institutionalisation by nation-states as well as private corporations targeting the woman consumer, many may now know something about its history.
  • It began over a century ago as a commemoration of the struggles of women factory workers and was first organised by socialist movements as “international women’s day”.
  • From the 1920s onwards, it began to be celebrated annually by communist parties, first in the Soviet Union and then in China.
  • Much later, the United Nations “established” International Women’s Day in 1977 in the wake of the International Women’s Year in 1975.
  • In India, as elsewhere, movement-led campaigns and gatherings on March 8 spread from the 1980s.

International Women's Day 2021: Theme

  • According to the UN, the theme of International Women's Day 2021 is “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world".
  • And the campaign theme for International Women's Day 2021 is #ChooseToChallenge.

Savitribai Phule’s legacy

  • In the last few years, Dalit and Bahujan feminists in India have been issuing a call to use this occasion to celebrate a different legacy, that of Savitribai Phule, long ignored by upper caste histories of women’s rights.
  • Savitribai’s own biography is now being gradually recovered, rescuing her from being restricted to the role of the intrepid wife of Jyotiba Phule, who is himself celebrated for his dedication to the cause of “social justice” against women’s caste-differentiated enslavement.
  • Born in 1831, Savitribai was colonial India’s first woman teacher.
  • Her death on March 10, 1897 has made it possible to commemorate her life and legacy as “our” International Women’s Day.

Source: TH


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