About International Women's Day
International Women's Day 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. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women's achievements or rally for women's equality.
Marked annually on March 8th, International Women's Day (IWD) is one of the most important days of the year to:
- celebrate women's achievements
- raise awareness about women's equality
- lobby for accelerated gender parity
- fundraise for female-focused charities
What's the International Women's Day 2022 theme?
The campaign theme for International Women's Day 2022 is #BreakTheBias. Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn't enough. Action is needed to level the playing field.
Can groups can mark IWD however they choose?
One of the very best aspects about IWD is that the day belongs to everyone, everywhere.
Groups can choose to mark IWD in whatever manner they deem most relevant, engaging, and impactful for their specific context, objectives, and audiences.
IWD is about women's equality in all its forms. For some, IWD is about fighting for women's rights. For others, IWD is about reinforcing key commitments, while for some IWD is about celebrating success. And for others, IWD means festive gatherings and parties. Whatever choices are made, all choices matter and all choices are welcome and OK. All choices of activity actively contribute to, and form part of, the thriving global movement focused on women's advancement.
IWD has transformed considerably since 1911, and today is en entirely inclusive, diverse and eclectic moment worldwide.
What's the history of International Women's Day?
International Women's Day has occurred for well over a century with the first gathering held in 1911. Learn more about the day's timeline.
What colors symbolize International Women's Day?
Purple, green and white are the colors of International Women's Day. Purple signifies justice and dignity. Green symbolizes hope. White represents purity, albeit a controversial concept. The colors originated from the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) in the UK in 1908.
Who can support International Women's Day?
International Women's Day is not country, group, nor organization specific. No one government, NGO, charity, corporation, academic institution, women's network, or media hub is solely responsible for IWD. The day belongs to all groups collectively everywhere.
Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist and activist once explained "The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist, nor to any one organization, but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights." So make International Women's Day your day and do what you can to truly make a positive difference for women.
Is International Women's Day a holiday?
IWD is an official holiday in a number of places including: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. In Germany, Berlin's parliament approved a bill in 2019 to make International Women's Day a public holiday.
Should IWD be a global holiday? Many groups absolutely think not. IWD is a day of activism. IWD provides a highly considerable and visible opportunity for impact.
What's does the IWD website aim to achieve?
The purpose of the International Women's Day website is to support the supporters, and in doing so it provides a platform to help forge positive change for women.
Whether hosting an event, running a campaign, launching an initiative, reporting on achievement, donating to a female-focused charity, or more - there are many ways groups and individuals can mark International Women's Day.
Three central beliefs underpin and guide the purpose and provisions of the International Women's Day website:
- identifying, celebrating and increasing visibility of women's achievements can help forge equality
- strategic collaborations based on a foundation of shared purpose, trust and appreciation can impact positive change for women
- worldwide awareness raising via meaningful narratives, resources and activity can help combat gender bias and discrimination to accelerate gender parity
To support worldwide activity, the International Women's Day website provides:
- free guidance and resources
- a searchable IWD events database
- a platform for collaborative purpose-driven missions
- a hub showcasing the work of women creatives
- a speakers register for IWD event managers
- a women-owned business IWD supplier directory
- a fundraising channel for female-focused charities (100% direct to charity)
Do we still need an International Women's Day?
Yes! There's no place for complacency. According to the World Economic Forum, sadly none of us will see gender parity in our lifetimes, and nor likely will many of our children. Gender parity will not be attained for almost a century.
There's urgent work to do - and we can all play a part.