Float through any social event with M's fast facts. This week Nadia el Dasher explains International Women's Day THE BASICS Monday March 8 will mark the 99th International Women's Day, on which women's economic, political and social achievements are celebrated around the world. On this day every year, thousands of events are held to inspire women. In some parts of the world it is a public holiday. In others, such as Italy, it is an occasion for giving presents.
THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM The first International Women's Day (IWD) was on March 19, chosen because it commemorated the date in 1848 when the King of Prussia promised votes for women - a promise he failed to keep. IWD is still necessary because nowhere in the world can women claim the same rights and opportunities as men. THE DISSENTING OPINION IWD is redundant because women have been getting an ever bigger slice of the pie - to the point where men are now fighting for equal treatment for themselves. The US and UK offer fathers paternity leave, so that men as well as women can take time off to look after their children.
THE CONVERSATION A 1932 Soviet poster dedicated to International Women's Day gets to the point: "8th of March is the day of rebellion of working women against kitchen slavery", it reads, and, "Down with the oppression and narrow-mindedness of household work!" How much has changed since then?