Happy International Women's Day - Celebrating Progress and Advocating for Equality: Reflecting on International Women's Day - 09/Mar/2024

Happy International Women’s Day – Celebrating Progress and Advocating for Equality: Reflecting on International Women’s Day – 09/Mar/2024

Celebrating Progress and Advocating for Equality: Reflecting on International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day (IWD), celebrated on March 8th each year, is a global event dedicated to acknowledging the achievements of women and advocating for further advancement towards gender equality. Both a day of celebration and advocacy, IWD has been observed for over a century, growing in prominence as the fight for women’s rights has continued to gain momentum worldwide. Through a combination of local events, online campaigns, and international gatherings, the day highlights the social, economic, cultural, and political accomplishments of women while also drawing attention to ongoing challenges and disparities.

History and Significance of International Women’s Day

Historically, the roots of International Women’s Day can be traced back to the early 20th century when women’s oppression and inequality were spurring women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. The first National Woman’s Day was observed in the United States on February 28, 1909, which the Socialist Party of America designated in honor of the 1908 garment workers’ strike in New York, where women protested against working conditions.

It wasn’t until 1910 that the idea of an international day to celebrate women was proposed by Clara Zetkin—a leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany—at the Second International Conference of Working Women held in Copenhagen. The following year, International Women’s Day was marked for the first time on March 19, reaching several countries across Europe.

March 8 became the officially recognized date for IWD during the Women’s Rights movement of the Soviet Union in 1917. It gained further recognition by the United Nations in 1975, and since then, it has become a widely recognized event across numerous countries celebrating women’s achievements and advocating for gender parity.

Themes and Activities around The World

Each year IWD is given a theme that focuses on specific goals related to women’s rights. These themes can range from gender equality and justice to ending violence against women or economic empowerment. The theme guides various activities that take place globally, from symposiums and conferences addressing women’s status in society to marches and rallies campaigning for broader change.

Activities carried out around IWD often include educational initiatives that teach about the history of women’s rights and topical discussions on obstacles women face today. Workplaces may host special events or panel discussions highlighting the role of women in different sectors. Charities frequently launch fundraising campaigns focused on issues affecting women and girls while public institutions like museums and galleries host exhibitions related to IWD themes.

Women’s Gains Over The Years

Despite ongoing challenges with gender inequality, progress has been notable since the early celebrations of IWD. Today, more girls than ever before have access to education. There has been a gradual shift toward greater representation of women in politics and business leadership roles—the proverbial glass ceiling is showing cracks as female CEOs head Fortune 500 companies and women hold significant political office.

Laws promoting gender equality have made critical strides forward; yet even with such legislation, the implementation often lags behind. Hence, activists use International Women’s Day both to acknowledge milestones reached and also as a platform to continue pushing for systemic change.

Challenges Still Facing Women Globally

Though progress should be celebrated, significant challenges against total gender parity still exist. Women around the world are more likely to live in poverty than men. As well, they commonly face workplace discrimination related to maternity leave, promotions, or pay – resulting in a persistent gender pay gap. Global health crises also disproportionately affect women as they usually bear most caregiving responsibilities.

Violence against women remains a major issue globally. Incidences like trafficking, forced marriages, and domestic abuse are fought against continuously. The celebration of International Women’s Day brings emphasis back to these pressing issues.


  • The first National Woman’s Day was celebrated in February 1909 in the United States
  • Clara Zetkin was instrumental in establishing International Women’s Day internationally
  • The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8th in 1975
  • Each year features a specific campaign theme; past themes have included “Each for Equal,” “Choose to Challenge,” and “Press for Progress.”
  • Significant milestones highlighting progress involve increases in numbers of females achieving higher education degrees and holding high-ranking political positions
  • Image Description

    An image depicting a diverse group of women from various backgrounds and cultures coming together joyfully with raised hands clutching different colored flowers symbolizing unity and growth. In the background are hints of the globe and symbols such as peace signs, equal signs, and Venus symbols representing International Women’s Day themes.