range from political rallies, business conferences, networking events as well as craft markets, artistic performances and fashion parades.
Since the early 1900’s we’ve seen women come in to power and govern countries, graduate from university and have real options in life such as the choice to focus on career or motherhood or both. So make a difference, think globally - act locally and make every day important. Do your bit to ensure that the future for all women looks bright, is safe, fulfilling and equal.
Below is a brief history of various milestones for International Women's Day.
What a year! 15 000 women marched through New York demanding better pay and voting rights. This was a time of great unrest and when women became more proactive in campaigning for formal change regarding what they considered to be women’s oppression and inequality.
National Woman’s Day was observed on 28 February in accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America. This day was subsequently observed and celebrated on the last Sunday of February until the year of 1913.
This was the year that the idea of an International Women's Day to press for women’s rights was put forward by Clara Zetkin, leader of the Women’s Office for Germanys Social Democratic Party. Her idea was carried and finally International Women’s Day became a reality.
International Women's Day was honoured for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. More than one million people attended rallies campaigning to end discrimination, enable women to vote, enhance women's rights to work and hold public office.
In 1913 the date for International Women's Day was set for 8 March and this day has remained the global date for International Women's Day ever since.
In 1914 women across Europe held rallies to campaign against the war and to express women's solidarity.
1918 - 1999
During this period, International Women's Day grew stronger by the year to become a global day of recognition for women’s rights. 1975 was designated as 'International Women's Year'by the United Nations and during this time, the United Nations has also held annual International Women's Day conferences to coordinate worldwide the campaign efforts for women's rights and participation in social, political and economic processes.
2000 - 2009
The new millennium has witnessed a significant attitudinal change in how women themselves, as well as society in general consider equality. With more women in the boardroom there seems to be greater opportunities in the workplace. Also, women’s issues are far more heavily in focus today and we have many female role models throughout all areas of life. It is important that we continue to consider this issue of equality (the type of true equality that resides in the heart) and promote it - between the genders and between various cultures.