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Today is the 99th official International Women’s Day! Yay—a day to celebrate being female (without having to be a mother). So what, exactly, is it?
“International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future,” according to http://www.internationalwomensday.com/. And according to the United Nations, “International Women’s Day is the story of ordinary women as makers of history; it is rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men.”
First observed in the U.S. in the early 1900s, IWD is now celebrated all over the world. It’s an official holiday in many countries, including Bulgaria, China, Russia and Vietnam, and is widely observed in many others. In some countries, it is also observed as a day equivalent to Mother's Day, and children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.
More seriously, on this day every year, events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate their achievements. Every year, the United Nations selects a global theme countries can choose to use in their events and celebrations. (2010’s theme is “Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all.”) Governments, women’s groups and other organizations are free to choose their own themes to reflect the issues they feel are important.
You can read more about International Women’s Day here and here, as well as on the International Women’s Day Web site (see above).
“If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.”