A history of International Women’s Day

By Molly la Fosse

-International Women’s day has been observed since the early 1900s.

-These days it is celebrated every year on March 8th

-It can be traced back to a march in New York City in 1908, when 15,000 women marched demanding for voting rights and better pay.

-It was first officially recognised in the US in 1909.

-In 1910, it became an international affair when more than 100 women from 17 different countries came together to ensure that IWD was celebrated globally. That year countries such as Austria, Denmark and Switzerland celebrated IWD.

– The day was only recognised by the United Nations in 1975, but ever since then the  organisation has created a theme each year for the celebration.

-March itself is ‘Women’s History Month’, and this was originally coined in 2011 by the iconic Barack Obama, the President of USA at the time.

-Last year the theme was ‘Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality” which incorporated a call for acceleration of the 2030 agenda which aims to implement new sustainable development goals.

-The theme of IWD 2017 is ‘Be Bold for Change’, encouraging men and women to step up and take their own action against gender inequality. This theme perfectly reflects the spirit of change that was present in the various marches that have taken place in 2017. It aims to ensure that the people’s fighting fire will not die down until we have worldwide equality for everyone.

-Yes, there is an International Men’s Day ! – with a focus on male health and promoting positive role models for men and boys.

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