While for a few it's just a day to send greetings, the day is very important for women everywhere especially women who are overlooked, downtrodden, oppressed or otherwise unable to be safe or achieve their utmost due to situations outside their control.
1. When it started.
The first Women's Day was held February 28th 1909 in New York where women campaigned for better pay and voting rights. It was organised by the Socialist Party of America.
The following year in Copenhagen, Denmark, at the International Women's Conference, Socialist representatives suggested there be an International Women's Day. It was then agreed upon that it would be recognised each year to promote equal rights for women and women's voting rights.
The change to March 8th came in 1913 and it has been that day ever since.
15 countries including China, Ukraine and Vietnam have IWD as a public holiday.
2. Why it is necessary in 2018.
Inasmuch as some countries have seen extensive progress in the fundamental equality of women, many countries still see a lot of oppression of women.
In most developed countries women earn an average of 14% less to their male counterparts. In Kenya, according to Kenya Demographic and Health Survey women earn 68:100 in comparison to men.
Gender based violence is an ever increasing risk- with violence in Kenya rising during political events and in overcrowded urban areas and rural areas.
The aim is to inspire people to fight for women's equality, ensure women's safety, end discrimination against women and recognize women who have made achievements.
3. The 2018 theme.
Press For Progress is designed to end complacency and progress gender parity. To fight more gender inclusivity and end discriminative thoughts and actions.
For instance, in the Kenyan government, the constitution has a mandate declaring that one gender can't be more than two thirds majority. However, there are only 3 women out of 47 governors; 3 elected female senators out of 47; 75 women in a parliament of over 300 members.
4. The first sponsorship
In 1975, the United Nations gave official notice to the International Women's Day and began sponsoring it.
5. Women's history month