Women of the world want and deserve an equal future free from stigma, stereotypes and violence; a future that’s sustainable, peaceful, with equal rights and opportunities for all.
To get us there, the world needs women at every table where decisions are being made. This year, the theme for International Women’s Day (8 March), “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world,” celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and highlights the gaps that remain.
It was during 1908 that there was an ongoing critical debate amongst women regarding their oppression and inequality. The campaign for change started to become more vocal when 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pays as well as voting rights. In 1909, the first Women’s Day was observed across United States. In 1910, International conference of working women was held in Copenhagen. That’s where the idea was proposed by Clara Zetkin, a leader of the Women’s Office for the Social Democratic Party in Germany. In 1911, International Women’s Day was honoured for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. Between 1913 and 1914, women in Russia observed their first Women’s Day on February 23. Later, it was decided that March 8 can the globally accepted day to celebrate IWD. International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time by the United Nations in 1975.