International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on the 8th of March every year around the world. It is a focal point in the movement for women’s rights.
After the Socialist Party of America organized a Women’s Day in New York City on February 28, 1909, German delegates Clara Zetkin, Käte Duncker and others proposed at the 1910 International Socialist Woman’s Conference that “a special Women’s Day” be organized annually. After women gained suffrage in Soviet Russia in 1917, March 8 became a national holiday there. The day was then predominantly celebrated by the socialist movement and communist countries until it was adopted by the feminist movement in about 1967. The United Nations began celebrating the day in 1977.
Commemoration of International Women’s Day today ranges from being a public holiday in some countries to being largely ignored elsewhere. In some places, it is a day of protest; in others, it is a day that celebrates womanhood.
Women’s rights and gender equality are taking centre stage in 2020. Twenty-five years since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a progressive roadmap for gender equality, it’s time to take stock of progress and bridge the gaps that remain through bold, decisive actions.
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day (8 March) is, “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”.
The Generation Equality campaign is bringing together people of every gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion and country, to drive actions that will create the gender-equal world we all deserve.
Together, we want to mobilize to end gender-based violence; we are calling for economic justice and rights for all; bodily autonomy, sexual and reproductive health and rights; and feminist action for climate justice. We want technology and innovation for gender equality; and feminist leadership.