National Woman’s Day was first observed in the United States on February 23, 1909. The very next year, International Women’s Day was approved in Copenhagen when Clara Zetkin proposed a day for women to be recognized throughout the world. Not in a Mother’s Day kind of way, more of a call to action for women’s rights. And in 1910, there were a lot of rights to fight for. In fact, it would be 10 years before white women would win their hard fought battle for the right to vote.
Eventually, the 8th of March would become the day we celebrate women. The United Nations celebrated International Women’s Day for the first time in 1975.
Women have come a long way since 1975, and certainly since the first National Woman’s Day in 1909. But there’s still work to be done. We all know that women still aren’t paid what men are paid, we’re not equally represented in business or politics and violence against us remains a worldwide issue. In other parts of the world, health and education are additional issues affecting women. And, according to the World Economic Forum, we’re about a century away from gender parity.
Yes, there’s work to do, but there is also reason to celebrate. Women have gained a lot of ground over the years in the march toward equality. We’ve proven that there’s nothing beyond us when we put our minds to it, even against all odds, even when they tell us no.
In 1996, the United Nations announced their first annual theme for International Women's Day: Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future. Every year since has had a theme and this year is no exception.
2021 International Women's Day
Choose To Challenge
"A challenged world is an alert world. And from challenge comes change.
So let's all #ChooseToChallenge." -- InternationalWomensDay.com
March 8th is the day that is designated, but that should not keep us from taking steps forward every single day. The people at InternationalWomensDay.com break down the call to action into four categories:
Celebrate women's achievements
Raise awareness about women's equality
Lobby for accelerated gender parity
Fundraise for female-focused charities
We're all in this together.
Happy International Women's Day 2021!
Good Housekeeping, 28 Incredible and Empowering International Women’s Day Quotes, Selena Barrientos, March 4, 2021
International Women’s Day Website, IWD 2021 campaign theme: #ChooseToChallenge, March 8, 2021
International Women’s Day Website, History of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2021
International Women’s Day Website, About International Women’s Day, March 8, 2021