International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th every year, commemorating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. It has been observed since the early 1900’s. A time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.
International Women’s Day is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity. No one government, NGO, charity, corporation, academic institution, women’s network or media hub is solely responsible for International Women’s Day.
“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights,” says world-renowned feminist, journalist and social and political activist Gloria Steinem. Thus International Women’s Day is all about celebration, unity, reflection, advocacy and action. But one thing is for sure, International Women’s Day has been occurring for well over a century – and continue’s to grow from strength to strength.
What’s this year’s theme?
The theme for IWD 2017 is #BeBoldForChange – encouraging people to step up and take groundbreaking action to help drive gender equality. It’s an active message that is likely to resonate with the millions of women, girls and men who have taken to the streets to march this year, in opposition to divisive politics.
How is IWD celebrated across the world?
Countries celebrate it in different ways. It is an official holiday in a number of places including: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia.
Other countries celebrate it in a similar way to Mother’s Day with men presenting their wives, girlfriends, mothers and female friends with flowers and gifts.
Learn more about International Woman’s Day >
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