Image: Fanta Diallo, 22, a member of an anti-drug youth network poses for a picture in Bamako, Mali. September 18, 2012. REUTERS/Joe Penney
International Women’s Day was first celebrated in 1913 Russia to celebrate women’s contribution to the Communist movement. Soon after, other Communist countries adopted the holiday. It wasn’t until the United Nations invited member nations to observe the celebration in 1977 that the United States began honoring the day. Though International Women’s Day began as a celebration of labor, it’s become a day to acknowledge women’s achievements in all areas as well as a chance to look at how far women all over the world still have to go.
Each year International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. The first International Women’s Day was held in 1911. Thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organisations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women’s groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day.
Various organisations identify their own International Women’s Day theme, specific to their local context and interests. Many charities, NGOs and Governments also adopt a relevant theme or campaign to mark the day. For example, organisations like the UN, Oxfam, Women for Women, Care International, Plan, World Association of Girl Guides & Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and more – run exciting and powerful campaigns that raise awareness and encourage donations for good causes. The UN has been declaring an annual equality theme for many years.
Make It Happen is the 2015 theme for our internationalwomensday.com global hub, encouraging effective action for advancing and recognizing women.
Support International Women’s Day ONLINE
Use your voice via social media:
– And watch out for even more #hashtag activism from loads of great groups all around the world
Lend your support:
– Retweet and share content
– Display the International Women’s Day on your website or blog
– Donate to your favourite womens charity
– Paint It Purple – your website, blog, emails for the day
– Insert the IWD logo in your email signature block for the day
– Support a female-focused crowd-funding initiative
– Make and upload a video
– Run a webinar
Support International Women’s Day OFFLINE
– Run an event celebrating women to raise awareness for gender equality
– Participate in local activities and campaigns
– Paint it purple – your building, canteen, playground, wear purple clothing
– Do a media interview
– Create images or film
Whatever you do – celebrate women, call for equality – and ‘Make it happen’
From 1908, the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in Great Britain adopted the colour scheme of purple, white and green to symbolise the plight of the Suffragettes. Purple symbolised justice and dignity – two values strongly associated with women’s equality. The three colours were used for banners, flags, rosettes and badges to show solidarity.