In 1908, 15,000 brave women marched through the streets of New York City calling for voting rights and equal pay for women. They had no idea that their struggle for equality would one day inspire a global celebration celebrated in over a hundred countries.

This year, on March 8, we celebrate International Women’s Day, which kicks off Women’s History Month. This is a day set aside to honour all the amazing women who live in our own backyards and in the wider world.

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There is no incorrect way to commemorate this occasion; whether you decide to get involved with a cause close to your heart or simply call your girlfriends to support them, you will be following in the footsteps of some of history’s most prominent women.

Naturally, you should study the origins of the celebration and the roles women played in establishing it.

Backstory of the Day Honoring Women Around the World

More than a hundred women from seventeen countries gathered in Denmark for the International Conference of Working Women two years after the women of New York City marched for voting rights and equal pay.

German feminist Clara Zetkin advocated for a global holiday honouring women and elevating their demands for equality during the conference. The resolution was approved without dissent, marking the beginning of what is now known as International Women’s Day.

Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland held the first official International Women’s Day celebrations in 1911. By the time it was officially celebrated for the first time in 1975, all 134 UN member states had officially adopted the holiday.

So that the festivities wouldn’t conflict, the United States Congress designated March as Women’s History Month back in 1987.

The Topic for This Year

The United Nations established an annual topic for International Women’s Day in 1996 to draw attention to an issue that is relevant to women everywhere. This year’s rallying cry for gender equality is #BreakTheBias. The International Women’s Day movement asserts that all women everywhere have an obligation to join in in the fight for gender equality.

Their website proclaims, “Individually, we’re all responsible for our own ideas and actions—24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

“With each other’s help, we can eradicate prejudice. Dissolving bias in the workplace is possible. We have the power to end discrimination in our nation’s classrooms. On this International Women’s Day and every day, let’s commit to ending bias together.”

How to Celebrate

Spend the 8th of March honouring the women who have made a difference in your life, whether that’s by attending a local Women’s Day event or by hosting a seminar honouring the efforts of strong women in the workplace.

If planning an event or march isn’t your thing, you can still celebrate on your own terms by doing something as simple as spending time with the women in your life or reading a book by a female author.