International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day – celebrated annually on March 8 – is a day that commemorates the social, political and economic achievements of women.

Women in different parts of the world use this day to come together to celebrate one another and rally for equal treatment and representation.

What’s the theme for International Women’s Day in 2022?

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is: “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.”

This year’s campaign is represented by the #BreakTheBias hashtag and calls on people to work towards a world that is equitable, inclusive, and free from bias and discrimination so the playing field is levelled for women moving forward.

HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalWomensDay

Around the world, organizations, communities, and individuals organize events focused on the mission of gender parity, celebrating the achievements of women worldwide and education.

  • Attend a lecture, seminar, or festival.
  • Organize an event.
  • Speak or perform at a local fundraiser.
  • Participate in a march for women’s equal rights.
  • Learn about the women who paved the way for many of the rights and freedoms we have today.
  • Become involved in your local, state, or national political system.
  • Invite others to join you, including other women, sons, brothers, sisters, and daughters.
  • Share your job skills at a local career fair.
  • Celebrate all month long. It is also National Women’s History Month.
  • Use #InternationalWomensDay when posting on Social Media.

History

Why are we celebrating International Women’s Day on the 8th of March?

In 1917, on Sunday, February 23 (according to the Julian calendar then in use in Russia), women began a strike for “bread and peace” in response to the death of over 2 million Russian soldiers in World War 1.

On Feb. 23, 1917 – March 8 on the Russian calendar – women workers across Russia staged an International Women’s Day demonstration, much of which was focused on the demand for bread and other rations. This protest catalyzed mass demonstrations of both men and women that culminated in the abdication of Czar Nicholas II a week later

After the Russian revolution that took place the same year, the country adopted the Gregorian calendar, in which the 23rd of February corresponded to the 8th of March.

It was also in 1917 that the communist government headed by Vladimir Lenin made this day an official holiday.

Remained predominantly a communist holiday till the late 1960s, in 1965 the 8th of March became also a non-working day in the Soviet Union.

International Women’s Day was first officially recognised by the United Nations in 1977.

It has since been commemorated annually by the UN and much of the world, with each year’s observance dedicated to a particular theme or issue in women’s rights.

Russian suffrage activists earned Russian women the right to vote in 1917 and were quickly followed in other parts of the world, with Britain giving women the right to vote in 1918 and the U.S. following in 1920.

Women protest at a women’s suffage demonstration in central Petrograd, Russia, on March 8, 1917. (FINE ART IMAGES/HERITAGE IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES)

Across the world, International Women’s Day varies as a day of action, gratitude, love and resistance – honouring the strides that women’s movements around the world have made while still serving as a reminder of the existing gaps in gender equality yet to be overcome.

In Italy, International Women’s Day goes by Festa Della Donna and serves as a day for women to spend time with one another, gift each other flowers and of course, eat cake.

In Pakistan, the day still stays true to its activist roots. Since 2018, women in Pakistan have been marching the streets in their annual Aurat March (“Women’s March”) to condemn violence against women, along with economic and reproductive injustice.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY TIMELINE

1869

The NWSA Forms

The National Women’s Suffrage Association was founded by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton to advocate for women’s rights.

1911

A Day for Women

Clara Zetkin proposes a Women’s Day celebration, and International Women’s Day is celebrated annually from this point forth.

1917

Russian suffrage activists earned Russian women the right to vote

Russian suffrage activists earned Russian women the right to vote in 1917 and were quickly followed in other parts of the world, with Britain giving women the right to vote in 1918 and the U.S. following in 1920.

1965

All Women Can Vote

The women’s liberation movement fights for politics, work, the family, and sexuality and all women are given the right to vote

1975

United Nations officially adopted International Women’s Day

In 1975, the United Nations officially adopted International Women’s Day.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY DATES

YearDateDay
2022March 8Tuesday
2023March 8Wednesday
2024March 8Friday
2025March 8Saturday
2026March 8Sunday

FAQs

Why do we celebrate women’s Day on March 8?

International Women’s Day – celebrated annually on March 8 – is a day that commemorates the social, political and economic achievements of women.

When is International Women’s Day? 

International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on March 8. 

Is International Women’s Day an official holiday?

International Women’s Day is an official holiday in dozens of countries.

Can anyone celebrate International Women’s Day

Yes. It’s a day to reflect on women’s achievements and a way to look forward to the accomplishments of the future.


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