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History of International Women's Day

The history of the International Women’s Day simply explained

Every 8 March we take our time to assess whether social progress has been made during the year, whether we contributed to making this world at least a little bit better for our girls – mothers, sisters, and daughter. Let’s take a minute to think about what does it all mean and why is it so important.

International Women's Day: The Backstory

It all started in 1908, when several thousands of women marched through New York City demanding voting rights. Two years later, in 1910, Clara Zetkin – the leader of the ‘women’s office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany – first proposed the International Women’s Day, which was celebrated the following year.

March 8, 1908. New York City.

The First Celebration of IWD

The celebration of International Women's Day began on March 18, 1911. Two years later the date was transferred to March 8.

Clara Zetkin.

International Women's Day Purpose

IWD has been created following the necessity to make the world more inclusive towards women, to acknowledge their rights, as well as to celebrate their achievements throughout history.  

IWD Recognition

1975 was the year when United Nations first began to celebrate IWD on March 8. In UN’s words, the International Women’s Day is:

"[...] an occasion for looking back on past struggles and accomplishments, and more importantly, for looking ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women."


How do we celebrate this day worldwide? For example, in Italy mimosa is the flower that best represents this festivity, its beautiful color symbolizing hope.

Interestingly enough, in 2018 year Pantone has selected “ultra-violet” as its 19th “Color of the Year”, which symbolizes “personal expressions of individuality”, plus it is historically bound to the women’s movement, as immortalized by Alice Walker’s novel “The Color Purple”. After the last year’s Hollywood sexual misconduct scandal that ultimately resulted into the #MeToo movement being nominated Time’s 2017 Person of the Year, which mirrored a positive trend happening worldwide. Everyone and everywhere, people are engaging in social debate and, in so doing, boost the progress.


Related articles:

The Most Influential Catholic Women of all Times→

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