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International Women’s Day Observed on March 8, 2017

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International Women’s Day is celebrated by the Governments, NGOs and other Organizations worldwide on March 8 every year since 1900 to highlight the achievements of women in all fields ranging from political to social while calling for greater equality.

  • The theme adopted by the United Nation for 2017 is Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030. 

About the International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a day dedicated to womanhood, their social, political, cultural, political, economic achievements and their significant contributions to society with stress on gender equality.

  • IWD was initially celebrated as International Working Women’s Day and is believed that the celebration on the occasion started to be held at a Socialist political event in New York City on February 28 1909.International Womens Day 2017
  • IWD was mostly celebrated in Socialist and Communist countries before the United Nations adopted it in 1975.
  • In 1977, the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for women’s rights and world peace.
  • The day brings together governments, women’s organizations, corporations and charities to raise awareness for women and address gender bais.

PM Modi Addresses National Convention of Women Sarpanch

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Swachh Shakti 2017 – A Convention of Women Sarpanches, at Gandhinagar in Gujarat.

  • The National Convention of Women Sarpanch has been jointly organized by the Centre and the Gujarat government.

Important Highlights of the Conclave

As a part of the event, PM Modi gave away Swachh Shakti 2017 awards to women leaders in rural areas who have contributed immensely towards Swachh Bharat Mission.

  • About 8,000 women sarpanches from across the country, including 6,000 from Gujarat attended the event on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
  • Over 4000 women sarpanches from different states were taken on tours to villages in 8 districts of the state including Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Kheda, Anand, Vadodara and Kutch.
  • PM Modi highlighted that India will celebrate 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in 2019 who had stated that cleanliness is even more important than political freedom.
  • Talking about the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ initiative, he said that villages with women Sarpanches can play a key role in the drive to end female foeticide.
  • The Prime Minister said that both boys and girls should get equal access to education.

President Mukherjee Presents Nari Shakti Puraskars

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, President Pranab Mukherjee gave away the Nari Shakti Puraskars at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on March 8, 2017.

  • The award is given to eminent women and institutions in recognition of their service towards the cause of women empowerment and is announced by the Selection Committee under the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • The Nari Shakti Puraskar comprises Rs 1 lakh and a certificate. A total of 31 women were honoured.

Some of the winners included

  1. Three women scientists from ISRO namely Subha Varier, B Codananyaguy and Anatta Sonney. They have participated in ISRO’s historic space missions like the Chandrayaan mission, Mangalyaan mission and the most recent launch of 104 satellites in one go.
  2. An all-women troupe of Kathakali dance was also awarded for claiming a dance form which was traditionally a male preserve.
  3. Asia’s first woman to drive a diesel train, Mumtaz Kazi, was also bestowed with an award.
  4. Anoyara Khatun, a survivor of trafficking, who has worked to rescue child labourers, victims of human trade and domestic violence. Anoyara was also nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2012 and has represented India at the UN.
  5. Amruta Patil, a writer and painter. She is also the first female graphic novelist of the country. Her novel ‘Adi Parva’, based on the Mahabharata, Puraans and tradition of oral storytellers, was selected as one of the year 2012’s best graphic novel.
  6. Besides, other winners included survivors of acid attacks, environment and animal activists among others.

Textiles Ministry Announces Kamaladevi Chattopadhya National Awards Specially for Women Weavers and Women Artisans

On the occasion of International Women’s Day the Union Textiles Minister Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani has announced ‘Kamaladevi Chattopadhya National Awards’, a new category of awards specially for women handloom weavers and women handicraft artisans.

  • The awards will help women weavers and artisans to receive recognition and economic benefits associated with the Awards.
  • It will also help to recognize the craft excellence and hard work by millions of women carrying forward the handloom and handicraft heritage.
  • The Minister also launched a special campaign to provide MUDRA Loans to women handloom weavers all across the country.
  • The Textiles Minister also launched an online “Handloom Weaver MUDRA Portal” in association with Punjab National Bank to submit claims and transfer funds electronically directly to the weaver’s loan account.
  • The Minister also launched a national campaign to eliminate the exploitative and unhygienic practice of thigh reeling in India. To end this unhygienic and inhuman practice, the Ministry is starting the distribution of woman-friendly Buniyaad Reeling Machines to woman silk reelers.
  • The Buniyaad machine has been developed by Central Silk Technological Research Institute that falls under the aegis of Central Silk Board (CSB), Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India, and will help to improve the productivity and income.
  • Besides, two MoUs were also signed on the occasion, between the Ministry of Textiles and National Backward Classes Finance & Development Corporation under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment with the main objective of increasing earnings of millions of women handloom weavers & artisans belonging to backward classes who work in the handloom & handicraft sectors.

Sports Minister Vijay Goel Inaugurate “Women and Sports in India” Conference in New Delhi

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports organized a day-long conference on ‘Women and Sports in India’ on March 8, 2017 to deliberate upon various issues for encouraging more and more women to take up sports.

  • The conference was inaugurated by the Minister of state (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Vijay Goel.
  • The objective of the conference was to discuss various issues that women athletes or coaches face in the field of sports and to further improve upon them.

Defence Ministry Organise The Awareness Programme On The Problem Of Anaemia 

An Anaemia awareness Campaign was organized by the Indian Army in the Army Hospital on the occasion of the International Women’s Day on March 8, 2017.

  • The programme was attended by Mrs Madhulika Rawat, President Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA) and many medical experts from the Services.
  • The main area of discussion was on improving the quality of life of the women and children in the society affected by Anaemia.
  • Anaemia is a common ailment among women which effects up to 60% of women and 80-90% preschool children in India but a majority of these cases are preventable or can be treated easily.

Commonwealth launches ‘Peace in the Home’ Programme to Tackle domestic violence

On the occasion of the International Women’s day, the Commonwealth has launched an initiative “Peace in the Home” to help the member states to deal with domestic violence that impacts the life of women.

  • The “Peace in the home” programme includes a toolkits to help governments across the Commonwealth to deal with the menace.
  • iii.The toolkit will enable the governments to involve multiple agencies such as schools, doctors and hospitals as well as government and law enforcement agencies to work together effectively by highlighting and sharing details of initiatives that had been particularly successful at dealing with domestic violence.
  • There will also be a mentoring programme for women and an initiative to address the issue of violence around elections and politics. The programme will continue through till 2018
  • Besides, an initiative to map the economic cost of domestic violence in Commonwealth countries, as well as focus on strengthening laws protecting women and girls across the group was also announced.