A focal point of the global women’s movement, International Women’s Day (IWD) offers individuals and groups around the world a chance to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
The event, which is held on the 8th of March each year, is marked by a wide variety of activities including fundraisers, concerts, screenings, discussion groups and workshops.
Not merely a celebration of what has been achieved, however, the event also acts as a rallying call to groups who support equality rights to redouble their efforts in the cause of full equality.
The International Women’s Day website
The IWD website supports and coordinates global events marking International Women’s Day. Crammed full of information about the struggle for equal rights and the many achievements of women’s groups, the site is a great resource for anyone interested in the movement.
Three central beliefs underpin and guide the purpose and operation of the site:
- identifying, celebrating, and increasing visibility of women’s achievements can help forge equality
- strategic collaborations based on a foundation of shared purpose, trust and appreciation can impact positive change for women
- worldwide awareness raising via meaningful narratives, resources and activity can help combat gender bias and discrimination to accelerate gender parity.
The history of International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day was first celebrated in 1911. The event was the brainchild of the German Social Democratic party member Clara Zetkin. Called to speak at an International Conference of Working Women held in Copenhagen, Zetkin proposed that a day to be set aside to mark the achievements of women worldwide. The proposal was quickly approved and International Women’s Day is the result.
On the 19th of March 1911, over a million people came out in support of the first IWD events, which were held in Germany, Austria, Denmark, and Switzerland.
Since that time the movement has grown steadily, with people in 80 countries marking the event in 2019.
Who can take part in International Women’s Day?
IWD is not tied to any one country, group, or government and the event is open to anyone who supports the aim of women’s equality.
More information about International Women’s Day can be found here.