by Fanja and Alicia

International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate and respect women and their role in economic, social, and political achievements. While this holiday is annually celebrated around the world on March 8, it is declared a bank holiday in many countries, including Madagascar (for women only).

The United Nations declared Women’s Day an international event in 1977, picking up what had been formally celebrated by socialist countries since 1911. In addition to the achievements of women, the UN also focuses on how women aid in progressing international peace and security and women’s fight for equality.

International Women's Day Logo

Every year, the celebration is organized around a particular theme. This year’s global theme is ‘Empower Women – End Hunger and Poverty.’ Madagascar incorporates additional themes,  like ‘Women as decision-makers, essential to the change in Madagascar’s history’ in 2010.

Malagasy people, mainly women, celebrate it in many different ways, according to the region they belong to and their specific conditions. However, the main objective is the same, which is to fight for their rights. Every year, the Ministry of Population and Social Affairs chooses a place of celebration where carnivals and other activities, such as reforestation, take place. This year in Antananarivo, capital city of Madagascar, the event will be marked by several demonstrations related to the empowerment of rural women.