You are here

International Women’s Day

The UN talks about International Women’s Day, the official title, whereas in France this day is known as La Journée Internationale des Droits des Femmes (International Women’s Rights Day). IWD is celebrated on 8th March every year by groups of women around the world. It is also celebrated at the UN headquarters and is a national holiday in numerous countries.

The United Nations began celebrating this special day in 1975, which had been recognised as International Women’s Year and, in 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming the United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace. However, social rights movements had been organising days in observance of women’s rights since the beginning of the 20th century in North America and Europe. In accordance with a declaration made by the American Socialist Party, the first National Women’s Day was celebrated throughout the United States of America on Sunday, 28th February 1909. Women continued to celebrate this day every last Sunday in the month of February up until 1913.

The date was chosen in reference to 8th March 1917 when women in Russia organised a demonstration to demand bread and the return of their husbands who were fighting on the front lines. This day marked the beginning of the Russian Revolution. Since then, International Women’s Day has taken on a new, worldwide dimension in both developed and developing countries. The flourishing feminist movement, which had been bolstered by four world conferences on women organised under the aegis of the United Nations, helped make the celebration of this day the focal point of coordinated efforts deployed to demand recognition of women’s rights and their participation in political and economic policymaking.

The theme this year is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow” calling on people to “break the bias” and is being celebrated in recognition of the contribution of women and girls around the world who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation and response to build a more sustainable future for all.