International Women’s day is celebrated worldwide on 8th of March. This tradition of celebrating this day started in 1910 in New York in light of the strike of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union in the year 1908. Dates have altered and finally 8th of March was the date the celebration of Women’s day was settled upon. UN had an immense role to play regarding this decision. Before UN, in the year 1910, a Clara Zetkin who was the leader of the Women's Office for the Social Democratic Party in Germany unanimously decided on March 19 as the date on which Women’s Day would be observed internationally. Years of revolts and strikesfollowed. Finally much later in the century, UNdeclared 1975 as the International Women’s Year and March 8 as International Women’s Day.
Since its independence in 1964, Zambia has been celebrating 8th of March as International Women’s Day. The main purpose behind this is to celebrate women’s achievements and inspire young women to come forward and exercise their choice freely. Their achievements are celebrated and the whole day is dedicated to empower women.
Each year UNdeclares a theme for International Woman’s Day. The Zambian citizens happily take part in these events. The Women’s Day celebration is not only restricted to mere celebrationsin Zambia butthis occasion has always targeted at making the women of the country more conscious about their rights and freedom. The literacy rate of women has also risen to around 56% according to 2015 estimate.
Being a third world country with a per capita GDP of $1801.9 as of 2014 records, Zambia, being unable to pay for medical help suffers a lot from health related issues. Consequently maternal deaths during pregnancy and childbirth rose very high. To overcome this major problem the Zambian Government abolished fees for all maternal health services. In women’s day, particularly, Zambia remains committed to overcome these challenges by campaigning and promoting women’s health.
In 8th of March, people throughout Zambia celebrate the day much like a festival. Thousands of people gather in the streets and greet one another “Happy Women’s Day” and lead a march on. Dressed in their bestchitenge outfits - a Zambian fashion essential, NGO’s, Government Ministries, and thousands of common people attend the march. Road shows and Dramas are being held in several places. Schools, colleges, offices and industries remain closed as it is a national holiday declared by Zambian Government.