For more than a century, women around the world have celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8th. This day recognizes the courage, strength and determination of women who have fought for their rights and for gender equality. It is an opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of all women across the globe. Let’s take a look back at the history of International Women’s Day and how it has evolved over time.
The First Wave - The Origins of International Women's Day
International Women’s Day began in 1908 in New York City where 15,000 women marched through the streets demanding better pay, shorter hours, and voting rights. This first wave was led by Socialist Party of America member Clara Zetkin who suggested that every country should designate a day to celebrate women’s achievements. Later that year, the first International Women’s Day was held on March 19th in Germany and Austria with more than one million people participating.
The Second Wave - After World War II
After World War II, countries such as France began recognizing International Women’s Day as a way to celebrate peace and democracy. In 1975, during International Women’s Year, the United Nations honored March 8th as official International Women’s Day. Over time this day has become increasingly popular with millions of people taking part in marches and protests around the world for greater gender equality.
The Third Wave - The Modern Era
In recent years there has been an increased focus on advancing gender equality worldwide with more attention being paid to issues such as equal pay, violence against women, access to education and health care services for women, reproductive rights and more. As a result of these efforts, many countries have made significant progress towards achieving gender parity but much work still needs to be done. On this day we can make our voices heard together for greater progress towards true gender equality worldwide.
As we honor International Women's Day this year let us reflect on all that we have accomplished together as well as what still lies ahead on our journey towards true gender equality globally! Today is an important reminder that we must continue working together to ensure that every woman is respected and valued in society regardless of their race or background. Let us use this day to support each other and strive for a better tomorrow!