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Every year on March 8th, we commemorate International Women's Day (IWD), a global event with roots tracing back to a historic gathering in 1911.

This gathering emerged from a conference for women held in August 1910 before a major meeting of international socialists in Copenhagen, Denmark. Inspired by American socialists, German delegates including Clara Zetkin, Käte Duncker, Paula Thiede, proposed the idea of an annual "Women's Day,".

This proposal resonated with the 100 representatives from 17 countries attending the conference, who saw it as a means to advocate for equal rights, including women's suffrage.

The following year, on March 19, 1911, the first International Women's Day took place, drawing participation from over a million people across Austria-Hungary, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. The date later shifted to March 8th to coincide with a demonstration by women textile workers in Petrograd, Russia, which sparked widespread protests against World War I and food shortages.

IWD’s significance has deepened over the years, evolving into a vital platform to acknowledge and amplify the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women worldwide.

International Women's Day now provides a yearly opportunity to applaud the accomplishments of women in various fields, both historical and contemporary, showcasing the myriad contributions to society that have so often been overlooked or attributed to others in the past.

The focus of International Women’s Day is to shine a light on areas for improvement:

  • Gender Inequality
    To recognise existing gender inequalities and challenges, fostering conversations that educate and promote a deeper understanding of these pressing issues.
  • Women's Rights
    To call for positive change and advancements in women's rights. It encourages active support for policies that uplift and empower women in every sphere.
  • Gender Parity
    To bridge gaps between men and women in education, employment, leadership, and decision-making, creating a more equitable and inclusive world.
  • Fundraising for Women-Focused Charities
    To support organisations and initiatives addressing women-specific issues, such as gender-based violence, healthcare, education, and economic empowerment.

International Women’s Day 2024

Individuals and communities from diverse backgrounds will come together today to celebrate the achievements of women. Today is for solidarity and unity in the global pursuit of gender equality, emphasising that everyone has a role to play in creating positive change.

This year's theme, "Inspire Inclusion," challenges us to inspire understanding and value for women's inclusion, forging a better, more equitable world. When we inspire others to recognise the value of women's perspectives, contributions, and experiences, we contribute to a society that embraces diversity in all its forms.

What will you do today to embrace the spirit of IWD? And how will you extend this beyond March 8th?

Let us seek out and share content created by women, challenge unconscious biases, support women-led businesses, mentor and empower, and speak up against gender-based discrimination.

Let us today and always celebrate the remarkable women shaping our world.