International Women’s Day 2023
The International Women’s Day marked every year on 8 March is an important celebration.
International Women’s Day, also known as IWD for short, grew out of the labour movement to become a recognised annual event by the United Nations (UN).
The seeds of it were planted in 1908, when 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter working hours, better pay and the right to vote. A year later, the Socialist Party of America declared the first National Woman’s Day.
The idea to make the day international came from a woman called Clara Zetkin, communist activist and advocate for women’s rights. She suggested the idea in 1910 at an International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen. There were 100 women there, from 17 countries, and they agreed on her suggestion unanimously.
It was first celebrated in 1911, in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. The centenary was celebrated in 2011, so this year we’re technically celebrating the 111th International Women’s Day.
The theme of this year’s women’s day is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”. It is aligned with the priority theme for the upcoming 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW-67), i.e. “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”.
Keeping the theme of this year in mind, we need to bear in mind that 37% of women do not use the internet. 259 million fewer women have access to the Internet than men, even though they account for nearly half the world’s population.
If women are unable to access the Internet and do not feel safe online, they are unable to develop the necessary digital skills to engage in digital spaces, which diminishes their opportunities to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) related fields By 2050, 75% of jobs will be related to STEM areas. Yet today, women hold just 22% of positions in artificial intelligence, to name just one.