March 8th is International Women’s Day!
A global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
International Women’s Day (IWD) has been observed since in the early 1900’s. Beginning in 1908 when great unrest and critical debate was occurring amongst women. Women’s oppression and inequality was spurring women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.
In 1909, in accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman’s Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on 28 February. Women continued to celebrate NWD on the last Sunday of February until 1913.
Followed by the International Conference of Working Women held in Copenhagen in 1911 where it was proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day – A Women’s Day – a day where women could press for their demands. The proposal was unanimously approved and thus International Women’s Day was the result.
In 1913, International Women’s Day was transferred to 8 March and this day has remained the global date for International Women’s Day ever since.
International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time by the United Nations in 1975. Then in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.
2011 was the 100 year centenary of International Women’s Day – with the first IWD event held exactly 100 years ago in 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. In the United States, President Barack Obama proclaimed March 2011 to be “Women’s History Month“, calling Americans to mark IWD by reflecting on “the extraordinary accomplishments of women” in shaping the country’s history. Additionally, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched the “100 Women Initiative: Empowering Women and Girls through International Exchanges”.
Since 1909 the world has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women’s and society’s thoughts about women’s equality and emancipation. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women’s visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, women continue to gain equality. Allowing women to work, have a family and make have real choices
And so each year the world inspires women and celebrates their achievements. International Women’s Day is an official holiday in many countries including Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia.
Join us in making everyday International Women’s Day.
Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.