We Make CHANGE Work for Women
This observation traces its roots in different movements in the 1900s, particularly in the United States of America, with garment workers fighting for their economic rights and fair work hours.
In 1911, the first International Women’s Day was celebrated on March 19 and was participated by millions of men and women. However, a tragic incident led to the changing of this date. On March 25, 1911, 140 working women died in a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York City. This brought to light the unfair labor practices and inhumane working conditions that women workers faced and led to several rallies.
In Europe, the Socialist Women’s International Conference recommended March 8 to be the International Women’s Day, not only to commemorate the women workers in the New York fire, but also to lobby issues concerning women. Since 1913, IWD has been observed annually on March 8. In 1975, the UN formally designated this as the day of celebration of achievements of all women around the world and propel change in terms of gender equality.
In December 1977, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a UN Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.
In 1995, Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a historic roadmap signed by 189 governments, focused on 12 critical areas of concern: (1) women and poverty; (2) education and training of women; (3) women and health; (4) violence against women; (5) women and armed conflict; (6) women and the economy; (7) women in power and decision-making; (8) institutional mechanisms; (9) human rights of women; (10) women and media; (11) women and the environment; (12) the girl child.
In the Philippines, the following issuances serve as legal bases for the annual national campaign:
2017-2022 NWMC theme: WE Make CHANGE Work for Women
The 2017-2022 NWMC generally aims to:
- inform and engage women as stakeholders of government programs and services – to promote citizen-centric governance and make “change” a conscious effort to know, understand, and provide what ALL citizens need
- create and facilitate platforms to discuss good practices, gaps, challenges, and commitments in pursuing gender and development (GAD) – to strengthen implementation of the Magna Carta of Women
- inspire and empower women and girls to be agents of change – to contribute in promoting gender equality and the empowerment of all women
(C) Philippine Commission on Women