International Women’s Day is observed annually on March 8th. This global day celebrates the cultural, political, social and economic achievements of women. The day also brings international awareness to gender parity. According to the World Economic Forum, global gender equality is estimated to be achieved by 2133.
International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. www.internationalwomensday.com
The past year saw unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice. Global marches and campaigns, including #MeToo and #TimesUp were taken up throughout the world on issues ranging from sexual harassment, femicide, equal pay, women’s political representation, among others. Echoing the sentiment, this year’s International Women’s Day theme is #TimeIsNow: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives.
International Women’s Day was born on March 8, 1908 when 15,000 women marched through the streets of New York City to demand shorter hours, better pay, and the right to vote. The first International Women’s Day event wasn’t held until 1911, and only then in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. The UN didn’t recognize it as a holiday until 1975.
In 1917, the Women’s Day demonstrations in Saint Petersburg, Russia, helped initiate the February Revolution, when women marched through the city demanding an end to World War I. This shocked even Leon Trotsky, who, much like other Russian leaders of the day, did not expect the Women’s Day protests to cause that much of a stir.
Until 1977, Women’s Day was celebrated mainly in socialist countries. It was only after the United Nations General Assembly’s decision to proclaim March 8th International Women’s Day that the holiday gained worldwide popularity.
It wasn’t until 2011, to honor the centennial of the first International Women’s Day event, that President Obama declared the entire month of March “Women’s History Month” in the United States.
- Only 22 of Earth’s 197 countries can say they have women serving as heads of state.
- Fifty-eight percent of college graduates are women, and this increased percentage of educated women has been directly tied to economic growth worldwide — and faster economic growth at that.
- As of 2014, there were 16 million women living with HIV, meaning 50 percent of all adults with HIV are women.
- A mere 14 percent of top executive positions in Fortune 500 companies are held by women. Only 24 of those companies have female CEOs.