Women make up about 50% of the world. Throughout history, women have played very traditional roles in society, as mothers and homemakers. However, in this day and age, women have come to fill in key roles in society, taking up jobs and filling in high leadership positions.
However, despite being recognized as legally equal in most of the modern world there are still many issues facing women today. Many people may still be curious about what is International Women’s Day?
International Women’s Day is a celebration of women’s social, economic and political achievements. However, beyond that, it is also an opportunity to raise awareness about the many current issues facing women.
When is International Women’s Day?
International women’s day is celebrated on March 8th every year. This is something that has been carried over from history.
The first National Women’s Day celebrated in the United states on February 28th 1909, organized by the Socialist party of America. This date was later changed to March 8th to commemorate a major protest by female garment factory workers in the same year, as they demanded better working environments.
In these modern times, International Women’s Day is observed by the United Nations, who tend to set a theme for each year.
For International Women’s Day 2021, the UN theme is “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.” Other countries and organizations also observe IWD, with a special International Women’s Day organization formed especially for this celebration.
The main International Women’s Day website has therefore come up with the theme ‘Choose to Challenge.’
Why Is International Women’s Day Important?
International Women’s Holiday is celebrated in Singapore too. Apart from celebrating women’s roles in the various parts of society, this day is also important as it raises issues of women’s rights and gender parity.
That is why many NGOs and corporate organizations start various campaigns in conjunction with IWD. Some of the common issues brought up by these campaigns include gender equality at the workplace, domestic violence, unequal pay, protection of female children, underaged marriage, the need for increased female representation and many more.
Apart from these reasons, IWD is also a time for:
- Corporations and businesses to show appreciation for their female employees.
- The public to recognize the contributions of women leaders to the country, both past and present.
- Governments to recognize various women who have contributed much in their respective fields.
How is International Women’s Day Celebrated?
Although it is not a holiday in most countries, IWD is marked differently in different parts of the world. Some companies celebrate this special day by giving their female employees half a day off, while other companies give them bouquets of flowers.
Often the activities of IWD reflect the current needs of women, and takes into consideration current issues. Here are some ways IWD is marked in different countries around the world:
1. United States
In the US, International Women’s Day is a week-long celebration, and this started in 1980. Various schools use this week to carry out gender equality programs, to raise awareness and encourage students to embrace the concept positively.
Elsewhere in the country, the week of March 8th will be filled with seminars, peaceful rallies and various other programs by civil liberty groups.
Italy has a very unique way of celebrating IWD, or La Festa Della Donna as it is known there.. During this period, yellow mimosa flowers will be sold almost everywhere on every street corner. This is because it is a cultural practice to give these small yellow flowers to the women in your lives during this time.
The gift of mimosa flowers acknowledges the hard work and strength of all women, and bouquets of these bright, sunshine yellow flowers are given to friends, family, colleagues and more.
In China, it is companies and corporations that observe International Women’s Day. The country marks March 8th as a national holiday, and has done so since 1949. Many companies give their female employees half of the day off and some even offer them a full day off.
IWD is also a commercial event in China, with most brands offering sales on their products. This is to encourage people to buy presents as a show of affection for the women in their lives.
Berlin is one of the only places in the world where International Women’s Day is a full holiday for everyone. Since 2019, Berlin is the only state in Germany which recognizes this day as a public holiday, as voted by the Berlin parliament.
What Flowers are Appropriate for International Women’s Day?
Flowers are one of the most common gifts for IWD, including in Singapore. Most of the time, these gifts are accompanied by International Women’s Day quotes and wishes..
Among the most common flowers that are often given to women during these times include:
Bright and sunshine yellow Mimosa flowers signify strength and perseverance among women. It’s also a very cheerful and energetic flower that’s symbolic of women’s struggles and achievements.
Tulips are pretty popular as gifts for women in Europe, where they’re found in abundance. Tulips have large blooms, and look stunning when given in a bouquet or even alone. Tulips come in many bright attractive colors, so giving these during IWD creates a feeling of happiness.
Roses are a great gift for any occasion. In Russia, roses are a common gift during International Women’s Day which is a public holiday. Roses in different colors can have different meanings. If you’re giving roses in a corporate or office setting, go for uncommon colors like yellow, peach, purple or ivory.
Lilies are also great gifts for International Women’s Day. Lilies are flowers that represent femininity and they also have a great scent. Lilies come in many colors like peach pink, white and yellow which can be mixed to create a wonderful aesthetic effect.
No matter how you celebrate International Women’s Day in Singapore, it’s always good to show appreciation to the hard work, dedication and contribution to the various women in your life with a beautiful gift. Wish the wonderful women in your lives Happy International Women’s Day on March 8th this year with our exclusive International Women’s Day Bundles!
*All images from Unsplash.com unless otherwise stated