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What is Women’s day?
A national holiday declared in 1878 by the first Indian social reformer, Bhikaji Cama, in response to the abuse and injustice inflicted by the law on women.
It was to raise awareness of women’s rights as voters and to help mobilise female voters, especially the large number of illiterate women, so they were able to vote and speak up for themselves. At first,
it was called “Bhikaji Day”, celebrating a person who fought strongly for women’s rights. Since the celebration of Women’s Day began at the beginning of the election year, it coincided with the first day of voting. It was eventually changed to its current name in 1928, to honour the “first-ever mass mobilisation of Indian women for political rights, which took place on 9th July 1928”.
The first observance of Women’s Day was in 1911, when a women’s rights’ demonstration took place in New York. The day is celebrated in most of the countries of the world, such as Australia and Nepal.
Who were the first women to observe it?
The tradition of observing this day has its roots in the United States. In the late 1800s, when Indian men came to work on the railway in the USA, they brought the custom with them. It was formally recognized in the USA on the day itself.