International Women’s Day (IWD) is a worldwide celebration of social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women that takes place annually on March 8. This year’s theme is #PressforProgress which spotlights gender parity.
IWD is not a new holiday – in fact, it was first observed in the early 1900’s. It has, however, grown in popularity over the past few years and is now celebrated and supported around the world by the United Nations, along with governments, industry leaders, educational institutions, community groups, professional associations, women’s networks, charities, non-profit organizations, and more.
IWD is a terrific opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women as well as a chance to take action to help raise visibility and awareness in order to help drive positive change for women and accelerate gender parity around the world.
We can all do our part in helping drive better outcomes for women by becoming responsive and responsible leaders in creating a more gender-inclusive world. The World Economic Forum predicts the gender gap won’t close entirely for another 217 years, so International Women’s Day provides an opportunity for ground-breaking action that can drive greater change for women and speed up the clock on gender parity.
World-renowned feminist, journalist and activist Gloria Steinem once said, “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.”
How to get involved
- Together we can all play a role in promoting women’s issues and rights, especially for women in developing countries. One of the easiest ways to get involved is by sharing the #PressforProgress hashtag on social media posts and encouraging your friends and followers to join in the festivities.
- Purple is the official color for IWD, so simply wearing a purple shirt or ribbon is a good way to show your support.
- There are numerous festivals and gatherings planned for IWD and you can check the International Women’s Day event page to see a full list of activities in your area.
- Consider donating time or resources to women-focused charities or groups
- Volunteer to set up your own IWD campaign. Materials and instructions can be found here.
- Most importantly, just speak out and make your support known!
Even if you don’t want to get involved in organized IWD events, the day itself is still a great opportunity to celebrate a special woman in your life by acknowledging their hard work and sharing their stories. A small gift, like a beautiful bouquet, is always an appropriate way to show your gratitude and the smile is causes can make a big difference!