International Women’s Day is a global celebration commemorating women’s cultural, political, and social achievements. It is observed yearly on March 8th. It’s also a key point in the women’s rights movement, raising awareness about problems like gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women. IWD arose from labor movements in North America and Europe in the early twentieth century, spurred on by the universal female suffrage movement that began in New Zealand. The first version was allegedly a “Women’s Day” staged by the Socialist Party of America on February 28, 1909 in New York City. This prompted German delegates to the International Socialist Women’s Conference in 1910 to urge that “a special Women’s Day” be held yearly, albeit without a defined date; the following year saw the first rallies and commemorations of International Women’s Day across Europe. After women acquired suffrage in Soviet Russia in 1917 (at the start of the February Revolution), IWD was declared a national holiday on March 8, and it has since been observed by the socialist movement and communist countries on that date. Until the late 1960s, when it was adopted by the global feminist movement, the holiday was linked with far-left parties and regimes. Following its approval by the United Nations in 1977, International Women’s Day became a mainstream global celebration.
International Women’s Day is marked in a variety of ways around the world; in some countries, it is a national holiday, while in others, it is observed socially or locally. The UN commemorates the event in honor of a specific problem, movement, or theme related to women’s rights. IWD is still characterized by protests and calls for radical change in some parts of the world, but in others, particularly in the West, it is mostly social and based on a celebration of femininity.