Vatican City – Pope Francis marked International Women’s Day by praising the contributions of women to society and calling for greater recognition of their rights.
In his remarks delivered on Wednesday during the general audience in Vatican City, the pontiff praised women’s achievements in politics, business, and education, among other fields. He also acknowledged the many challenges women face, including discrimination and violence.
Pope Francis in one of his statements had said, “On International Women’s Day, I think of all women: I thank them for their commitment to building a more humane society, through their ability to grasp reality with a creative eye and a tender heart.” He also cheered up the sick, elderly, and newly weds, he said; “In these days of Lent,” he said, “walk even more courageously in the footsteps of Christ, seeking to imitate His humility and faithfulness to the divine will.”
The pope emphasizes that women’s day celebrates the countless women who have made the Pope said. Women were described as leaders, innovators, caregivers, and creators, and that they deserve to be recognized and valued for their important roles in society.”
The Pope’s message of support for women on International Women’s Day is likely to be welcomed by many, and may serve as a source of inspiration for those working towards greater gender equality.
The international women’s day is a worldwide holiday usually on 8 March to celebrate women and their rights. It focuses on issues related to gender equality, reproductive rights, as well as violence and abuse against women.
A Little History of IWD
International Women’s Day originated from labor movements in North America and Europe during the early 20th century. The earliest version was purportedly a “Women’s Day” organized by the Socialist Party of America in New York City on February 28, 1909. This inspired German delegates at the 1910 International Socialist Women’s Conference to propose “a special Women’s Day” be organized annually, albeit with no set date; the following year saw the first demonstrations and commemorations of International Women’s Day across Europe.
After women gained suffrage in Soviet Russia in 1917 (the beginning of the February Revolution), IWD was made a national holiday on March 8.
Read more about IWD here.