International Workers' Day, also known as Labor Day in most countries and often referred to as May Day, is a celebration of laborers and the working classes that is promoted by the international labour movement and occurs every year on May Day (1 May).
While it may belong to a tradition of spring festivals, the date was chosen in 1889 for political reasons by the Marxist International Socialist Congress, which met in Paris and established the Second International as a successor to the earlier International Workingmen's Association. They adopted a resolution for a "great international demonstration" in support of working-class demands for the eight-hour day.
The date had been chosen by the American Federation of Labor to continue an earlier campaign for the eight-hour day in the United States, which had culminated in the Haymarket affair, which occurred in Chicago on 4 May 1886. May Day subsequently became an annual event. The 1904 Sixth Conference of the Second International, called on "all Social Democratic Party organisations and trade unions of all countries to demonstrate energetically on the First of May for the legal establishment of the eight-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace."
The first of May is a national, public holiday in many countries across the world, in most cases as "International Workers' Day" or a similar name.
Labourers have fought for years to get their rights. However, the issue is different today. We have labourers and their rights but do we have representation from all groups of people?
The global gender gap report published by the World Economic Forum in 2021 ranked India in the 140th position. We don't have enough representation from disadvantaged groups including the transgender community.
According to a survey, globally, in 2020, less than half (46.9%) of all women participated in the labor force, a decrease from 51.0% in 1990. In certain fields, women are not represented at all. During the pandemic, the situation got worse and women had to work harder to balance work and home. Now the question is what is the root cause of this condition? Is patriarchy so deep rooted that women still find it difficult to pursue their dreams?
There are many causes for this condition today and all of them are interrelated. First, even today, girls' education is not given priority in many places in our country. Second, even if they are given education, they are not encouraged to pursue a career and last but not the least, many women give up their careers when they get married or sometimes they are forced to leave their evolving careers when they get married or have children. These practices have been going on for centuries. Although the situation has improved in many cities, we still have a long way to go.
Now that we've looked at the history and issues, what are some of the ways we can move forward?
- Equal education for both girls and boys.
For equal representation in the workplace, we first need to give equal education and training to both boys and girls. In many parts of the world, girls are not given proper education. Even if girls are educated, they are not encouraged to pursue a career. We might not be able to change the whole world on our own but if we try to encourage girls we know to pursue higher education, we will be able to make a huge difference in the coming years.
- Equality at the workplace.
All women should be aware of their rights. Employers should adopt a non-discrimination policy while recruiting employees and should also maintain equality in the office.
- Equality after marriage and childbirth.
Marriage and childbirth involves two people, not one. In many places, women are expected to give up their career after marriage or childbirth. Women are expected to manage the house and the child. However, it is the responsibility of both the people in the relationship to take care of the house and the child. Women should be able to claim their seat at the table and men should actively make an effort to support that opportunity.
There are many solutions that can be implemented to resolve the problem. We need to actively follow them to bring about a change.
Let us know in the comments about your views and also suggest more ways that we can change society!
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