There may come a day in the future when women don’t have to be celebrated — when every day is women’s day. Until then, the world (or at least, some parts of it) celebrates International Women’s Day.
What it is: International Women’s Day, March 8, is a day designated by the United Nations to celebrate the accomplishments of women and to continue to fight for gender equality around the globe.
How it started: International Women’s Day was officially declared by the United Nations in 1975. Prior to that, the day had been celebrated in various forms since 1909. The two most official origin dates are the 1909 Socialist Party of America’s declaration of March 8th as “National Women’s Day” (honoring a women’s labor strike the year before) and the International Women’s Day conference held on March 19th in Copenhagen in 1911.
What kind of events occur: Every year, the UN puts forth a theme as a call to action and reflection. This year’s theme is “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030,” with the goal of achieving gender equality in the workplace by 2030.
The International Women’s Day website is a hub for IWD history and events, with its own theme (this year’s: Be Bold for Change) and partner charities.
The founders of the successful January 2017 Women’s March on Washington will hold a strike called “A Day Without a Woman” on International Woman’s Day this year as well. Women who can stay home from work are encouraged to do so as a statement of the importance of women in the workplace.
Elsewhere across the globe, women will be attending rallies, protesting on behalf of women’s rights and spending money on women-owned businesses.