The United Nations (UN)’s International Women’s Day (IWD) is annually observed across the globe on 8th March to recognise women’s achievements regardless of divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic, or political.
- The theme of International Women’s Day (IWD) 2022 is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”. The theme calls for climate action for women by women.
- The theme of the IWD 2022 campaign is “#BreakTheBias”.
i.In 1975, the International Women’s Year, the UN celebrated its first official International Women’s Day on March 8th, 1975.
ii.In December 1977, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by the Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.
iii.In 1945, the Charter of the United Nations(link is external) became the first international agreement to affirm the principle of equality between women and men. The UN celebrated its first official International Women’s Day on 8 March during International Women’s Year in 1975.
Why March 8?
i.The celebration of women’s day on 8th March is associated with the women’s movements during the Russian Revolution (1917).
ii.In 1917, women in Russia chose to protest and strike under the slogan “Bread and Peace” on the last Sunday in February (Julian calendar) which fell on 8 March on the Gregorian calendar.
i.According to the UN, around 70% of the 1.3 billion people living in poverty are women, and in urban areas, around 40% of the poorest households are headed by women.
ii.Women own less than 10% of the land, yet they predominate the world’s food production (50% to 80%).
iii.Around 80% of the people displaced by climate change and related disasters around the world are women and girls.
IWD 2022 Observance in India:
The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoWCD) celebrated International Women’s Day Week from 1st to 8th March 2022 as an ‘Iconic Week’ as a part of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
- The MoWCD organised various events and social media campaigns on several themes related to women’s safety and empowerment.
Highlights of the IWD Week 2022:
March 1: The celebration of the week started in collaboration with the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) to raise awareness of the safety and security of women.
The day also marked the 17th National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) Foundation Day.
March 2: Highlighted the role played by One Stop Centres (OSCs) in supporting women in distress.
MoWCD & NIMHANS Bengaluru launched the Stree Manoraksha Project.
March 3: Theme: ‘Women of Tomorrow’.
A panel discussion on topics like Young Women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) – Opportunities, Challenges and Solutions were conducted, followed by #NariShaktiVarta Fireside Chat on financial literacy with Smriti Zubin Irani Union Minister of Women and Child Development.
March 4 – Highlighted the stories of women from tribal areas/ aspirational districts.
- March 4&5 – 2-day National Workshop with State Commissions for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCRs) on Contemporary issues pertaining to Child Rights, Bhopal.
March 7 – MoWCD, MoE & UNICEF jointly launched the back to school campaign – ‘Kanya Shikhsa Pravesh Utsav’.
March 8 – International Women’s Day was marked with the Nari Shakti Puraskaar and International Women’s Day Conference for Women Police Delegates from all States/ Union Territories(UTs).
MoWCD, MoE & UNICEF Partners to Launch Campaign ‘Kanya Shikhsa Pravesh Utsav’
On the eve of International Women’s Day, MoWCD, Ministry of Education(MoE) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) partnered and launched the landmark ‘Back to School’ campaign – “Kanya Shikhsa Pravesh Utsav”, with an aim to bring back out of school adolescent girls in India to the formal education and/or skilling system.
- The campaign will be rolled out under the umbrella of MoWCD’s Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) initiative by targeting more than 400,000 out of school adolescent girls as primary beneficiaries.
To enhance the enrolment and retention of girls between 11-14 years of age in school.
i.This aims to build on the existing schemes and programmes like Schemes for Adolescent Girls (SAG), BBBP and National Education Policy (NEP) to work on a comprehensive system for out of school girls.
ii.The campaign will be rolled out under the umbrella of MoWCD’s BBBP initiative by targeting more than 400,000 out of school adolescent girls as primary beneficiaries.
iii.Under this campaign, MoWCD and MoE will collaborate to identify the beneficiaries and appropriate enrolment into formal schooling or vocational training programmes.
President Conferred Nari Shakti Puraskars For The Years 2020 and 2021
On the occasion of the International Women’s Day 2022, Ram Nath Kovind, President of India, honoured the Nari Shakti Puruskar awardees for the years 2020 and 2021 at a special ceremony to be held at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi, Delhi.
- 28 awards (14 each for the years 2020 and 2021) were presented to the 29 individuals in recognition of their exceptional work in rendering distinguished services towards the empowerment of women, especially vulnerable and marginalized women.
Prime Minister(PM) Narendra Modi interacted with the Nari Shakti Puraskar Awardees for the years 2020 and 2021, at Lok Kalyan Marg, New Delhi, Delhi.
About Nari Shakti Puruskar:
i.Nari Shakti Puruskar is an initiative of the Ministry of Women and Child Development(MoWCD) to recognise the contribution of individuals and institutions and to celebrate women as game changers and catalysts of positive change in society.
ii.Winners of 2020 are from the fields like entrepreneurship, agriculture, innovation, social work, arts and crafts, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), wildlife conservation, etc. and the winners of 2021 includes linguistics, entrepreneurship, agriculture, social work, arts and crafts, Merchant Navy, STEM, education and literature, disability rights, etc.
i.Dr Ela Lodh of Tripura was honoured with the 2020 Nari Shakti Puraskar (posthumous) for her contribution towards women’s health, particularly for the marginalised. She was the founder of the Hepatitis Foundation of Tripura.
ii.Some of the winners of Nari Shakti Puraskar 2020 & 21 include Radhika Menon, 1st Indian Woman Captain of Merchant Navy, social entrepreneur Anita Gupta, organic farmer and tribal activist Ushaben Dineshbhai Vasava, innovator Nasira Akhter, Intel-India head Nivruti Rai, down syndrome affected Kathak Dancer Saylee Nandkishor Agavane, first woman snake rescuer Vanita Jagdeo Borade and Neena Gupta, winner of ‘Ramanujan Prize’ for Young Mathematicians.
Click here for the list of winners of 2020 and 2021
Narayan Rane Minister for MSME Launched a Special Entrepreneurship Promotion Drive for Women – SAMARTH
Narayan Rane, Union Minister of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises(MSME) and Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma, Minister of State(MoS) of MSME launched the Special Entrepreneurship Promotion Drive for Women -“SAMARTH”, implemented by the Ministry of MSME, at New Delhi, Delhi.
- SAMARTH aims to provide opportunities for women to be self-reliant and independent by undertaking self-employment opportunities.
- Under this initiative, the ministry will provide Skill Development and Market Development Assistance to women and more than 7500 women candidates from rural and sub-urban areas in FY 2022-23.
Benefits of SAMARTH:
i.20% Seats in free Skill Development Programs organized under skill development schemes of the Ministry of MSME(MoMSME) will be allocated for Women. This will benefit more than 7500 women.
ii.20% of MSME Business Delegations sent to domestic & international exhibitions under the schemes for Marketing Assistance implemented by Ministry will be dedicated to women-owned MSMEs.
iii.20% Discount on annual processing fee on NSIC’s Commercial Schemes Special Drive for registration of women-owned MSMEs under Udyam Registration.