From historical archives shown that on February 28, 1909, 15,000 women marched through New York, USA demanding better pay, shorter working hours and voting rights.
In 1910, at the International Women’s Conference with 100 women from 17 countries, held in Copenhagen, the International Women’s day began.
This year’s International Women’s day holds also on March 8, as it has since 1913. It was moved to March 8 in 1913 and was recognized by the United Nations in 1975.
The aim of the day was to achieve full Gender equality for women including equal pay but it has not been realized.
International Women’s Day is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
The International Women’s Day 2018 theme is #PressforProgress, indicating the need to press forward and progress gender parity, especially after the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report said that gender parity is 217 years away. According to the IWD website, “It is a strong call to motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.”
The campaign theme continues all year with March 8 simply the kickoff for the campaign.
Last year’s theme, #BeBoldforchange was adopted by the USA Women’s Hockey Team to rally for equal pay.
According to the International Women’s day website, the campaign theme provides a unified direction to guide and bring about collective action.
Advocacy, activism and support for women has been growing with movements such as #TimesUp, #MeToo and TIME magazine’s The Silence Breakers.
The IWD is an official holiday in 15 countries including African countries, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Madagascar (for women only), Uganda and Zambia.
You can attend and participate in any IWD event around you. Check for the location of the event in your country and town on the IWD website.