International Women’s Day!!! Interesting Stories Of Women.
International women’s day 2017 will be celebrated all over the world on 8th of March, on Wednesday.
Why International Women’s Day is Celebrated?
In the month of August in 1910, a meeting (organised by the International Women’s Conference) of the Socialist Second International was held in Copenhagen to establish the yearly celebration of the International women’s day. Finally, the annual celebration of International Woman’s Day was established by the support of American socialists and German Socialist Luise Zietz. However, no particular date was decided in that meeting. The event celebration was decided to promote the equal rights for all women.
It was first celebrated on 19th of March in 1911 by the millions of people in Austria, Germany, Denmark and Switzerland. A variety of programs was held like demonstrations, women parade, banners and etc. Another demand of voting, holding public office and removing sex discrimination in employment was kept in front by the women. It was celebrated in America as a National Women’s Day to the last Sunday of the February every year. It was first celebrated by the Russian women in 1913 at last Sunday of February. A rally by the women (members of the Australian Builders Labourers Federation) was held in Sydney in 1975.
International women’s day celebration of 1914 was held on 8th of March. From then, it was started celebrating everywhere on 8th of March. The 1914 event celebration in the Germany was especially held for the women’s right to vote. During the 1917 year celebration, women of Saint Petersburg demanded the “Bread and Peace”, end of the World War I as well as Russian food shortage. Gradually, it was started celebrating in various communist and socialist countries such as in China from 1922, in Spanish communists from 1936 and etc.
At a time when there is talk of anti-Romeo squads to monitor who girls hang out with, a film certification board that rejects a movie for being “lady oriented” and young college students threatened with physical violation for voicing their opinions, how do Indian women negotiate the politics of intimacy? This Women’s Day, five women from their 20s to 60s tell us about their idea of love and desire, and, a look at sexism in popular culture and everyday life.
Mallika Dua, comedian, 27
‘I don’t wait for a man to make a move; if I like someone, I let them know’
When I was 18, I used to be very conscious of my body, even in front of my then boyfriend. I just couldn’t get how one could let go of inhibitions and allow someone to come so close to them. I was abroad for four years and, on hindsight, that could have been my cue to a wild time. But I barely ever went out, forget to pursue anyone.
One reason for this was the kind of films our generation grew up watching — you know the kind that portrayed love, sex and desire with a generous dose of morality — where sex meant pregnancy and unmarried women having sex was a fast pass to ruin (remember Kya Kehna?). We were taught over and over again that women had to be coy, that sex before marriage was a bad thing and dare you to think otherwise.
Sharanya Manivannan, 31, author
‘I am already all the ages I will ever be’
I am often assailed by longing for the woman I was at the cusp of 26 — neither too young to know nor old enough to know too much. Not only was I free-spirited and passionate, but I was also met by what I sought. Except, as I sensed even then, I could not keep them: those entanglements, that exhilaration. And so, I am also often assailed by compassion for the woman I was at the cusp of 26.
This year, I will turn 32. But right now, I am 31 — “a viable, die-able age”, as Arundhati Roy unforgettably wrote in The God of Small Things. I prefer to focus on the first word. There is so much that is viable about being a never-married woman in her 30s.
Mita Kapur, 51, author and literary agent
‘I really don’t know how to define intimacy at my age’
We’ve been through the motions, quite literally. The candle-lit evenings with flowers, chocolate baths, suggestive surprise gifts, even surprise trips, many times over. I’ve been plucked out of a meeting and whisked away to an unknown destination in the mountains in a meticulously-planned operation that included a suitcase packed with possible essentials. The only hitch was that slinky backless dresses and sexy stilettoes were packed to fend off a 4-5 degree daytime temperature for the dreamily-imagined long walks in the hills. A smart move, because I apparently needed to stick to the husband for bodily warmth, but it kind of failed because I feel very cold. The heat came from an explosive fight and a sullen walk down the mall road to shop for warm jackets and track pants.
Our children are sick of us. According to them, we don’t understand the concept of personal space and we don’t need a double bed — why are we wasting precious wood? We’ve never shied away to look all proper even if the kids are with us. Our second born, when all of 14, once asked us out of curiosity, “How many men did you date before marrying Papa?” My answer was, “No one else.” That led to an aghast expression and a stuttering question, “Are you trying to tell me that Papa is the only man you’ve kissed and slept with?” She managed to put me on the defensive mode and before I could open my mouth to murmur platitudes like “In our times…”, she burst out angrily, almost disappointed, “What a boring life, Mom!”
Mithu Sen, 45, artist
‘The wait for true love never reaches its climax’
Love is actually like death — the other side of our life that is unknown, unreachable, sublime, and for which we spend all our life waiting. If you really think about it, you could call both love and death romantic.
But then, the idea of being loved is dreamy, in ways that death can never be. It brings with it promises of fulfilment — at its most prosaic, the sublime state of orgasm; at its imaginative best, it can be the gateway to a parallel creative universe. I’ve found for myself this parallel universe where age is no bar and where I constantly find myself being sexually, romantically, mentally and emotionally aroused. In this state, anything is possible. The idea of sex moves from being merely a corporeal act to a creative impulse. If you can stand outside of yourself and explore your body, its desires and fetishes objectively, then you are not bound by standard notions of bodily pleasure. My idea of sexual fulfilment has always been about being mentally creative and it finds expression in different ways in my art.
Maya Krishna Rao, 63, theatreperson
‘A large number of women of my generation didn’t put love on a pedestal’
I grew up in an all-female home in Delhi. My mother was an actor and a dancer, and she was always playing roles that were out of the ordinary — she would play women who are either obnoxious or extraordinary or who the world would laugh at. I lost my father when I was 16, but even when he was alive, he was mostly travelling. So, my mother was the only real parent I knew. She was liberal, but also strict. Thanks to this wonderful contradiction, perhaps, I was also never defined as a girl/woman in relation to men. We weren’t told how to behave like a girl. My mother wanted us to read more, travel more. She herself sat on a boat one day when she was 23 and went off to London alone. This was a huge thing to do back in 1946 in Madras. My mother knew no fear and that set us free.
Of course, one missed a male presence at home, but there were no bars. My mother used to dress me up as an adult and take me to adult films when I was 15. I saw my first gay film with her. It was The Fox, a DH Lawrence adaptation. I remember asking her afterwards, “Amma, why were those girls kissing?” She put it very bluntly: “Well, in life, you see men kiss women, women kiss men. Sometimes, men kiss men and women kiss women.” And that was all there was to one’s sexual orientation — a personal choice that was no one else’s business. Looking back, I realise that the fact that the lesson came at a young age stood me in good stead.
International Women’s Day Themes
International Women’s Day is celebrated annually using a particular theme. Some of the year wise themes are given below:
- The theme of the International Women’s Day celebration of 1975 was “United Nations recognizes International Women’s Day”.
- The theme of the International Women’s Day celebration of 1996 was “Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future”.
- The theme of the International Women’s Day celebration of 1997 was “Women and the Peace Table”.
- The theme of the International Women’s Day celebration of 1998 was “Women and Human Rights”.
- The theme of the International Women’s Day celebration of 1999 was “World Free of Violence against Women”.
- The theme of the International Women’s Day celebration of 2000 was “Women Uniting for Peace”.
- The theme of the International Women’s Day celebration of 2001 was “Women and Peace: Women Managing Conflicts”.
- The theme of the International Women’s Day celebration of 2002 was “Afghan Women Today: Realities and Opportunities”.
- The theme of the International Women’s Day celebration of 2003 was “Gender Equality and the Millennium Development Goals”.
- The theme of the International Women’s Day celebration of 2004 was “Women and HIV/AIDS”.
- The theme of the International Women’s Day celebration of 2005 was “Gender Equality Beyond 2005; Building a More Secure Future”.
- The theme of the International Women’s Day celebration of 2006 was “Women in Decision-making”.
- The theme of the International Women’s Day celebration of 2007 was “Ending Impunity for Violence against Women and Girls”.
- The theme of the International Women’s Day celebration of 2008 was “Investing in Women and Girls”.
- The theme of the International Women’s Day celebration of 2009 was “Women and Men United to End Violence against Women and Girls”.
- The theme of the International Women’s Day celebration of 2010 was “Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All”.
- The theme of the International Women’s Day celebration of 2011 was “Equal Access to Education, Training, and Science and Technology: Pathway to Decent Work for Women”.
- The theme of the International Women’s Day celebration of 2012 was “Empower Rural Women, End Poverty and Hunger”.
- The theme of the International Women’s Day celebration of 2013 was “A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence against Women”.
- The theme of the International Women’s Day celebration of 2014 was “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women”.
- The theme of the International Women’s Day celebration of 2015 was “Empowering Women – Empowering Humanity: Picture It!” (by UN), “Re-thinking Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality in 2015 and beyond” (by UNESCO) and “breaking through” (by Manchester City Council).
- The theme of the International Women’s Day celebration of 2016 would be “Make it Happen”.
- The theme of the International Women’s Day celebration of 2017 is “Be Bold For Change”.