OVER the years, March 8 has come to be identified as a D-Day for women across the world. The day is observed as International Women's Day. “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women" is the theme chosen by the United Nations (UN) for the current edition of International Women's Day. Needless to say, this year's theme has much relevance in today's socio-political milieu as violence against women is escalating in an alarming manner. The day has been seen as a time for asserting women's political and social rights, for reviewing the progress that women have made, and as a day for celebration for women folk. Today, women from all walks of life like political parties, working women's associations and others celebrate the day with equal enthusiasm, reasserting their social, political and economic rights. Other than general topics like the right to work, equal pay and equal opportunity for work and education, open discussions on more debated issues take centre stage as part of the day's celebrations.
Internationally, the history of International Women's Day dates back to 1910. But women in the United States had organized the first national Women's Day in 1908, which helped to inspire the international event. It was the second International Socialist Women's Conference held at Copenhagen on 27th August 1910 that decided to celebrate March 8 as International Women's Day every year.
The day was officially declared in 1910 to commemorate the historical march in which thousands of women participated seeking the right to vote and asking to stipulate working hours to 8 hours.