International Women’s Day History
On this day during on March 08, 1975, the United Nations was celebrated the first official International Women’s Day (IWD) in the International Women’s Year.
International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global holiday celebrated annually all across the globe every year on March 8 to commemorate the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements of women. It is also a focal point in the women’s rights movement, bringing attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women.
International Agreement to Affirm
In 1945, the Charter of the United Nations became the first international agreement to affirm the principle of equality between women and men.
However, the earliest Women’s Day observance, called “National Woman’s Day,” was held on February 28, 1909, in New York City, organized by the Socialist Party of America at the suggestion of activist Theresa Malkiel.
In August 1910, an International Socialist Women’s Conference was organized ahead of the general meeting of the Socialist Second International in Copenhagen, Denmark. Inspired in part by the American socialists, German delegates Clara Zetkin, Käte Duncker, Paula Thiede, and others proposed the establishment of an annual “Women’s Day”, although no date was specified.
The 100 delegates, representing 17 countries, agreed with the idea as a strategy to promote equal rights, including women’s suffrage. The following year, on March 19, 1911, the first International Women’s Day was marked by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland.
Adoption by United Nations
IWD remained predominantly a communist holiday until roughly 1967 when it was taken up by second-wave feminists. The day re-emerged as a day of activism, and is sometimes known in Europe as the “Women’s International Day of Struggle”.
In 1977, the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as an official UN holiday for women’s rights and world peace. It has since been commemorated annually by the UN and much of the world, with each year’s observance centered on a particular theme or issue within women’s rights.
Around the world
IWD is an official holiday in several countries worldwide, including Afghanistan, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Germany (Berlin only), Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Zambia.
In some countries, such as Australia, Cameroon, Croatia, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Vietnam, and Chile; IWD is not an official public holiday but is widely observed nonetheless.
Official United Nations themes
|1996||Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future|
|1997||Women and the Peace Table|
|1998||Women and Human Rights|
|1999||World Free of Violence Against Women|
|2000||Women Uniting for Peace|
|2001||Women and Peace: Women Managing Conflicts|
|2002||Afghan Women Today: Realities and Opportunities|
|2003||Gender Equality and the Millennium Development Goals|
|2004||Women and HIV/AIDS|
|2005||Gender Equality Beyond 2005; Building a More Secure Future|
|2006||Women in Decision-making|
|2007||Ending Impunity for Violence Against Women and Girls|
|2008||Investing in Women and Girls|
|2009||Women and Men United to End Violence Against Women and Girls|
|2010||Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All|
|2011||Equal Access to Education, Training, and Science and Technology: Pathway to Decent Work for Women|
|2012||Empower Rural Women, End Poverty, and Hunger|
|2013||A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women|
|2014||Equality for Women is Progress for All|
|2015||Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture it!|
|2016||Planet 50–50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality|
|2017||Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030|
|2018||Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives|
|2019||Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change|
|2020||“I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”|
|2021||Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world|
|2022||Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow|