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How International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world

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For more than a century, women around the globe have been fighting for their rights on March 8, otherwise known as International Women’s Day.

While the date has been hallmarked as a time to honour women’s achievements in the political, economic, and cultural sphere, it also serves as a reminder that women around the world still have a long way to go when it comes to obtaining the same opportunities and liberties as their male counterparts.

International Women’s Day celebrations can look different, depending on where you are in the world.

In some places, the day is revered and is considered to be a national holiday, but other parts of the globe are not so keen on the occasion, with women risking their safety to take part in annual demonstrations amidst political threats, petitions, and calls for boycotts.

Despite China’s long history with Women’s Day — the holiday was adopted by Communist China from Russia in the late 1940s — the region has strayed from its original focus on female autonomy, becoming more of a commercial celebration.

Similar to Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, it’s hailed as an opportunity to express love towards women with gifts, outings and special treatment. Women’s Day events in the past have involved men wearing heels and makeup while climbing a mountain in the Guangdong province, as well as various fashion shows being held throughout the region.

Female employees are supposed to be granted a half-day off work on March 8, but employers don’t always abide by the ruling advised by the State Council.

In 2015, five feminists were arrested on International Women’s Day for planning a protest against sexual harassment.

On International Women’s Day, otherwise known as La Festa Della Donna, women are encouraged to leave men behind, and celebrate the day with each other indulging in wine, flowers and cake.

La Festa Della Donna became popular after the Second World War, when Italian feminists chose the mimosa flower as a symbol of strength on March 8.

Bright yellow mimosa flowers are sold throughout the country on International Women’s Day.  It’s traditional for young boys to present bouquets of mimosa flowers to their teachers, mothers and sisters.

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