International Women's Day 2008

Declaration

Today, 8 March 2008, Socialist International Women proudly celebrates International Women's Day.

The concept of an International Women's Day was formed in the early part of the 20th century when many demonstrations over poor working conditions began to take place. Most notably on 8 March 1908, fifteen thousand women took to the streets of New York City in protest to demand shorter working hours, better pay, the right to vote and an end to child labour. They adopted the slogan "Bread and Roses," the bread symbolising economic security whilst the word roses stood for a better quality of life.

This protest, together with many others, was the inspiration which led the Second International Conference of Socialist Women (now the Socialist International Women) in Copenhagen in 1910, to adopt a resolution demanding a day in the year to commemorate International Women's Day. As a result of the decision taken at Copenhagen, one year later an International Women's Day was established for the first time in many European countries, including Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland and throughout the years, many more countries were to follow.

The Socialist International Women, from its very beginning, has always advocated for women to participate in politics, but unfortunately there is still a long way to go. According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) women's representation in national parliaments is only a mere 17.3% worldwide, and in cabinet positions the percentage of women ministers is even lower. For this reason, International Women's Day, should be a day to encourage women and men to continue the struggle for democracy and equality for all.

The United Nations (UN) has also played an important role in shaping International Women's Day. In 1975, during International Women's Year, the UN began celebrating 8 March as International Women's Day. Two years later, in December 1977, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.

The International Women's Day is also a day to honour those women who have stood out and who have shown courage in the struggle for an equal world for all. It is on this occasion that the Socialist International Women would like to pay tribute to Benazir Bhutto – a political leader who dedicated her life to peace and democracy in Pakistan and who showed enormous courage in returning to her country to participate in the elections, knowing fully well the challenges and dangers that awaited her and sadly cost her her life.

On International Women's Day it is also vital to highlight the end to violence against women. Violence against women is not acceptable, can never be justified and cannot be tolerated. For this very reason Socialist International Women supports the UN campaign 'Unite to End Violence Against Women' launched by the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, on the occasion of the 52nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women, in New York, 25 February 2008. This campaign will continue until 2015 to coincide with the target date for the Millennium Development Goals.

To conclude, Socialist International Women strongly believes that International Women's Day is a global day to come together to celebrate women's diversity and the progress that has been achieved so far. It is also a day to honour those women who have made a difference and a day to inspire women and men to continue the struggle for peace, democracy, justice and equality for all.

 

News

A Good Education is the Best Guarantee for a Good Life

Article by Tuula Peltonen, published in the Brussels Morning Online Newspaper on 09 September 2021

In Finland, schools are just beginning their autumn term. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, schools will reopen as normal and thousands of teachers will return to teaching...

Situation of Women and Women’s Rights in Afghanistan

26 August 2021

Following the fall of Afghanistan into the control of Taliban forces, the Socialist International Women stands in firm solidarity with the international community both in condemnation of all forms of violence and oppression in Afghanistan and in firm support of innocent civilians caught up in this distressing situation...

Role of Women in Sustainable Peace for Inclusive Development and Economic Security

Article by Shazia Marri, published in the Brussels Morning Online Newspaper on 30 July 2021

Throughout history, women have played a pivotal role in shaping the future. Whether it is the freedom struggles in Asia and Africa or the economic uplift of Europe after the Second World War, women have proved — time and again — their resilience in the face of danger and difficulty alike...

Debt Cancellation: A burden lifted from women

Article by Chantal Kambiwa, published in Brussels Morning Online Newspaper on 17 June 2021

Over the years, acknowledgement of the rights of women and girls has become increasingly central to development strategies across the world and in Africa more particularly. Does this represent a recognition of the value of women and girls and a desire to see them flourish?...

We must defend progress in gender equality after the COVID-19 pandemic

Article by Ouafa Hajji, published in Brussels Morning Online Newspaper on 24 May 2021

Women and girls paid a disproportionate price of the economic shutdown during the pandemic, particularly in developing economies — our policies need to prevent this becoming the new norm, argues Ouafa Haji...

Our Support to Sandra Torres

30 April 2021

Socialist International Women, SIW, would like to show its support to Sandra Torres, leader of the Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza (UNE) of Guatemala and one of the SI Vice-Presidents...

SIW Council Meeting

30 April 2021

How to reinvent our future after Covid-19

Women are each other’s homeland

Article by Hilal Dokuzcan, published in Brussels Morning Online Newspaper on 30 March 2021

As Turkey withdraws from the Istanbul convention – to which an AKP government acceded in 2011 – a Turkish politician reflects on the prosecution of women, everywhere. There is no homeland for women, she notes, other than other women...

Statement on Turkey's Withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention

22 March 2021

The Socialist International Women are very sorry to receive the news of Turkey’s decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention determined by the President's decree on March 20, 2021...

Effective Participation and Decision-Making in Public Life - Key to Achieving Gender Equality

16 March 2021

65th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), United Nations, New York, from 15 to 26 March 2021

Virtual Parallel Event hosted by the Socialist International Women (SIW)

International Women's Day Declaration

08 March 2021

Socialist International Women (SIW) warmly applauds this year’s International Women’s Day theme of “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.”...

Season's Greeting!

December 2020

Wishing peace and equality for 2021

SIW Executive Meeting

18 December 2020

COVID-19 and the Impact this is Having on Women and Gender Equality in the Different Regions

Declaration on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

25 November 2020

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is a powerful call to stand in solidarity with all women and girls worldwide...

Message of Support for Turkey and Greece Following 30th October Earthquake

October 2020

The Socialist International Women offers its sincere condolences to Turkey and Greece following the devastating earthquake under the Aegean Sea on 30th October 2020...

Message of Solidarity with all Women and Girls Worldwide during the COVID-19 Pandemic

October 2020

The Socialist International Women stands in firm solidarity with all women and girls worldwide during this deeply painful, devastating period of the COVID-19 pandemic...

Publications

The First Hundred Years

A Short History of Socialist International Women

By Irmtraut Karlsson

This book tells the history of the first one hundred years of the Socialist International Women

END