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International Women’s Day

Saturday, March 08, 2014
Kabul (BNA) Nominating a day as “International Women’s Day initially discussed during the uprising and struggles of the women in New York. In 1857 female workers employed to a textile company staged out a protest demonstrations in the city and demanded a number of important social reforms and concentration on humanitarian and fundamental rights of the women. The protestors demanded justice and equity in the salaries and reduction to working hours of the women as vulnerable segment of the society. In 1907, the women movements received further development and it emerged with new dynamism in global level to accelerate efforts for preserving women’s political, social, economic and humanitarian rights. In 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen the capital of Denmark in which a lady known as a Clara Zetkin (Leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) presented the idea of an “International Women’s Day”.
She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day a women’s Day in order to expedite efforts and struggles for protection of women rights, legacy and dignity. The conference was attended by 100 women from at least 17 countries of the world, representing union, socialist parties, working women’s clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Zetkin’s suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women’s Day was the result. Following the nomination of “International Women’s Day” new waves of women movements started in various countries of the world and the Spanish capital Madrid witnessed the first women demonstration on 8th March. Saint Petersburg a Russian city hosted the first conference on women’s rights and in 1975, the United Nations Organization (UNO) officially declared 8th March as “International Women’s Day”. Later on in 1960 celebration of IWD first the first held in North America. In Canada the day marked on 1970 while in Denmark, Germany, Austria, Swiss and the United States in which more than two million women participated and raised voice on women dignity and rights. On the last Sunday of February, Russian women began a strike for “bread and peace” in response to the death over 2 million Russian soldiers in War. Opposed by political leaders the women continued to strike until four days later the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. The date the women’s strike commenced was Sunday 23 February on the Julian calendar then in use in Russia. This day on the Gregorian calendar in use elsewhere was 8 March.
Undoubtedly, marking International Women’s Day is in-fact a tribute to the women of the world particularly those women who tragically suffered because social injustice and discriminations. The day remembers the world community the revolution of women for protection of their basic and humanitarian rights. 8th March conveys a great message of the women to the world and realizes them to honor and value the rights of the women in the world. Following the decision agreed at Copenhagen in 1911, International Women’s Day (IWD) was honored the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination. However less than a week later on 25 March, the tragic ‘Triangle Fire’ in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italians and Jewish immigrants.
This disastrous event drew significant attention to working conditions and labor legislation in the United States that became a focus of subsequent International Women’s Day events. 1999 also saw women’s ‘Bread and Roses’ campaign. There is no doubt, the women contribute half of the human community and they have major potentials to play their constructive and decisive role on social, economic, political, cultural and educational scenario of the world. Every government in the world maintains moral and humanitarian obligations to recognize the basis and humanitarian rights of the women in its real sense. 8th March is also known as Mother’s Day and it has major significant and it’s a platform to further nourish awareness about the basic rights of the women. Overview of Women Rights in Afghanistan: before evaluating the overview of women rights in Afghanistan, this would be appropriate to explain women rights and legacy from the Islamic perspective, because there are some misconceptions and doubts on Islamic ideology of women rights. The universal religion of Islam has protected the women rights in dignified way. In Islam women have been awarded the rights to work, to be trained, to vote and get education. There is a narration from the prophet of Islam in which he says, “Getting Knowledge is Obligatory for both Muslim male and female”.
The first verse of the holy Quran which was revealed to prophet of Islam was the world “Iqra” means “Read” this shows that Islam has given major preference to the right for education, knowledge, work and contribution in the society. There are some elements that have misinterpreted Islam and presented an extremist image from the holy religion to the world. The Taliban regime had imposed their own inhuman laws on the Afghan women which are totally in contradiction to the Islamic school of thought and the basic rights of the women. The group had banned the women to go out of the house and get knowledge or work. So the women tragically suffered during the regime rule. But following the collapse of the Taliban regime, international community offered generous supports to Afghanistan to get development in human development programs. This led to rehabilitation and revival of women rights and today the role of Afghan women in various social, economic and political spheres are visible. Today the Afghan women have gotten 25% seat reservation in the Lower House of the parliament with 5pc in health services.
Based on the reports, only 19 pc of the schools are allocated to the girls and only 16 percent of the women in Afghanistan are educated. Despite Afghanistan received tangible growth in women education, women in the country still confront major issues and there discriminations against the women particularly in the southern and eastern regions of the country where insecurity still dominate. Besides that malnutrition and mortality rates among the Afghan women are still two major issues that threaten the life of Afghan women and international community must focus to settle the problems. The women also face series of other social issues such as per mature marriages, child marriages, illiteracy and violence. According to the recent statistic issued by the Ministry of Women Affairs (MoWA), more than four thousand cases of corruption were registered across the country over the last one year and the issue is still growing in the country and needs to be prevented.
International Women’s Day has been observed since in the early 1900’s, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.

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