International Women’s Day celebrates the social, cultural, economic and political achievements of women across the globe. But far from singling out women, the day focuses on unity, equality and advocacy especially in a world where the differences and injustices between women and men are as great as ever.
Over 20 countries particularly in Asia celebrate it with a day off work for all, while another three (including China) allow all women to take a day off. Although many people who seem to have a problem with the concept of International Women’s Day may think it’s a modern invention, it’s anything but; its first official acknowledgement was back in 1911, and became a cornerstone holiday in the Soviet Union from 1917 (even being a day off from work from 1965 onwards). Since 1977, the United Nations has made it a focus day for both women’s rights and world peace.