Commemorating the movement for women’s rights, International Women’s Day is celebrated annually around the world on the 8th of March.
Here’s what you need to know.
Back 1909, the Socialist Party of America held a National Women’s Day – with events organised in New York City. This led to the concept of an International Women’s Day being adopted by the International Socialist Women’s Conference, and in 1911 the first International Women’s Day was observed.
In 1911, events were focused on Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. Women demanded that they be given the right to vote and to hold public office. They also protested against employment sex discrimination.
Since 1914, International Women’s Day has been held on 8 March each year.
In 1975, International Women’s Day was first recognised by the United Nations. The UN has proclaimed International Women’s Day as being a day for women’s rights and world peace.
International Women’s Day 2019
The theme for International Women’s Day in 2019 is #BalanceforBetter. The focus is all about building a gender-balanced world.
Balance is not a women’s issue, it’s an issue for us all. Equality can be reflected in a gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced media coverage, a gender-balance of employees, more gender-balance in wealth, gender-balanced sports coverage – the list goes on.
Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive.
Celebrating International Women’s Day
There’s a myriad of ways in which you can recognise and celebrate International Women’s Day. You can celebrate with friends, family, your community, or your colleagues at work.
Whether you’re taking part in an event that someone else is organising, or starting your own, ways to celebrate International Women’s Day could include:
- Join a march
- Promote gender balance in your workplace
- Hold a seminar with keynote speeches by women in your industry or community
- Host a film-screening that showcases the empowerment of women
- Encourage your book club to focus on works that showcase the empowerment of women
- Organise a networking event for women
- Fund-raise for your local women’s refuge
- Acknowledge and celebrate the important women in your life