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International Women’s Day (IWD) 2020 observed on March 8

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Since 1977, the United Nations (UN) Women is organizing International Women’s Day (IWD) all over the world on March 8 to recognize women for their efforts in changing the individual lives as well as of nations. The day celebrates women’s achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.

The 2020 theme for IWD was “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”.International Womens Day 2020Following are the highlights showing IWD celebrations in India:

Newly launched Vigyan Jyoti Scheme lauded during Women’s day celebration at Technology Information Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC)
DST with its autonomous organization Technology Information Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) celebrated IWD where Justice Pratibha M Singh lauded the Women Scientist Scheme C [Knowledge Involvement in Research Advancement through Nurturing (KIRAN-IPR)] which is creating impact on IPR eco system in India.

Vigyan Jyoti scheme gets appreciation: Newly launched Vigyan Jyoti scheme to encourage the women to pursue science aims to tap 100 girl students in 550 districts from 2020-2025 in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The programme will cover girl students from grade 9 to 12.

Back Ground:

i.On National Science Day 2020(February 28), President Ram Nath Kovind had announced three initiatives are Vigyan Jyoti, Gender Advancement for Transforming Institutions (GATI) and an online portal for science and technology resources for women. 

ii.Vigyan Jyoti is an initiative that will create a level-playing field for meritorious girls in high school to pursue STEM subjects in their higher education.

iii.GATI will develop a comprehensive charter and a framework for assessing gender inequality in STEM.

iv.The online portal is to provide e-resources related to all women-specific government schemes, scholarships, fellowships, career counselling with details of subject area experts from various disciplines in science and technology. 

PM Modi launched “She Inspires Us” campaign; 7 women took over PM’s twitter account
On the occasion of Women’s Day, PM Modi handed over his social media accounts to women achievers whose life and work is inspiring and launched “She Inspires Us” campaign.  In this regard, seven women achievers shared their life journeys under the campaign through PM Modi’s social media accounts. The seven wonder women are as follows:

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Name Work
Sneha Mohandoss Started Foodbank of India to have hunger-free nation
Malvika Iyer A motivational speaker, a disability rights activist, and a model striving to make fashion accessible to all is a 2002 Bikaner, Rajasthan bomb blast survivor, who lost her hands and damaged her legs in the grenade blast.
Arifa Jaan A Kashmiri activist seeking to revive the traditional Namda crafts of the region.
Kalpana Ramesh A Hyderabad-based architect, She runs a city-based project to conserve lakes

and rivers.

Vijaya Pawar She is an artisan from the Banjara community of rural Maharashtra
Kalavati Devi She is an activist from Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh (UP) who campaigns against open defecation.
Veena Devi She is an organic farmer who is growing mushrooms at home for several years now, through some unique farming-at-home techniques.

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Indian Railways conducted “Each for Equal” campaign from Mar 1-10, 2020
As a part of IWD 2020, Railways has conducted a 10-day gender equality campaign on the theme “Each for Equal” across it’s 17 zones focusing on gender equality. Indian Railways also highlighted its efforts taken towards providing exclusive facilities to women passengers, to empower women employees and enhance the role of women employees working in Indian Railways.

  • The campaign included programs like a march/run on International Women’s Day, talks/lectures by distinguished women speakers, a nukkad natak, and screening of videos about women empowerment.

Indian Army conducted Self Defence Training for Women in Nalbari, Assam
A unit of Indian Army (IA) organized a demonstration on Self Defence themed “Stronger You Stronger Society” for the local women at Dhamdhama Anchlik College in Nalbari District of Assam.

  • The demonstration was conducted by Rifleman Ramesh Karki, an international taekwondo player of the Indian Army along with two local girls, Priyanka and Jinti Rajbonshi, players of International repute from the local region.
  • As a part of “She Inspires Us” campaign, a senior lady officer from the Indian Army and Smt Juppi Bordoloi, DSP from Nalbari Police were felicitated as women achievers of our nation.

Union Culture Ministry made women entry free on all ASI monuments for March 8, 2020
As a part of small tribute to women, Union Culture Ministry made all ticketed monuments maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) free of cost for the women on International Women Day i.e. on March 8, 2020.

Harsh Vardhan launched women helpline number for S&T schemes
As part of the International Women’s Day celebrations organised by Department of Science and Technology (DST) in New Delhi, Union Minister for Science and Technology, Earth Science and Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan launched a new Helpline no 011-26565285 here for use of women students, researchers, entrepreneurs and scientists to get their queries answered and doubts cleared related to programs of Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST).

  • The movie “Hidden Figure” was screened during the celebration.

WCD Minister releases report on status of women in media in South Asia

Union Minister of Women and Child Development (WCD) and Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani released a report on the Status of Women in Media in South Asia.The report was jointly prepared by the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC).

  • The report sponsored by the UNESCO has been researched jointly by the South Asia Women’s Network (SWAN) and the Institute for Studies in Industrial Development. The working conditions of women in media was studied in the nine countries of South Asia and has been brought out in two volumes.Click here to read the full report

Important Static Points:

-The IWD was recognized by the United Nations (UN) in 1977.

-The first National Woman’s Day was observed in the United States (US) on 28 February 1909.

-India celebrates its National Women Day annually on February 13 to commemorate Sarojini Naidu’s birth anniversary.

New Zealand was the first self-governing nation to allow women to vote.

About UN Women:
Establishment– 2010
Headquarters– New York, United States
Executive Director– Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka