By: Lailuma Noori
8th March coinciding with Women Solidarity Day is marked by a large number of countries in the world. It is a day when women talk about their achievements and challenges regardless to race, religion and belief. In fact, the day is a good opportunity for women to see their past and compare it with present and make efforts towards development and improvement in all steps of life.
One of the key defenders of women was Clara Zetkin, a German woman who was struggling for working class women’s emancipation. With her struggle for working class women’s emancipation, Clara Zetkin (1857-1933) became one of the most important leaders of the socialist women’s movement in late nineteenth century and early twentieth century Germany. She and her contemporaries began to approach women’s emancipation not just as in issue of women’s rights, but also as a socioeconomic issue that demanded political and economic reforms for women and men alike.
She helped to develop the social-democratic women’s movement in Germany; from 1891 to 1917 she edited the SPD women’s newspaper Die Gleichheit (Equality). In 1907 she became the leader of the newly founded “Women’s Office” at the SPD. She also contributed to International Women’s Day (IWD).
The Second International Socialist Women’s Conference was held on August 26–27, 1910 in Copenhagen, in conjunction with the 1910 Socialist Copenhagen World Congress. One hundred delegates attended from seventeen countries. Though conference addressed a number of issues including social legislation, education, public health and the Czar’s attempt to erode the sovereignty of Finland,The Second International Conference of Socialist Women, held prior to opening of Congress, set International Women’s Day for March 8 every year.
The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day in the International Women’s Year, 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.
In Afghanistan, 8 March is marked amid of increasing challenges and problems facing Afghan women in various fields in the country despite the fact that much work has been done for the improvement of life of women in the country. For the past 19 years, Afghan women have shown professionalism and merits in various fields as education, higher education, politics, economy, trade, sports, art and others. Despite of efforts that have been made towards implementation of rights of women and improvement of life of women by national and international organizations during the past 19 years, Afghan women still have problems and challenges as increasing of violence against women, early marriage, street harassment, raping and others. Currently, Afghan women do not have even the most primary rights in remote areas of the country where women are the real victims of ongoing war and violence as security situation is getting worse in the respective areas day by day. Afghanistan government is asked to both provide better to people in remote areas so that women can have also access to education and health services.