What is International Women’s Day? Answers to common questions

Image: Shutterstock
Image: Shutterstock

Here’s everything you’re wondering about International Women’s Day – what is is, when it is, why it is, and how you can get involved.

What is International Women’s Day?

International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.​

When is it?

It’s on March 8 – a Thursday this year.

Why does it exist?

To celebrate women’s achievements, and to help accelerate gender parity. 

How long has it been running?

For more than a century! International Women's Day was honoured for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on March 19, 1911. 

Where is it celebrated?

Internationally, obviously! Different countries mark the event in different ways. It’s even an official holiday in some countries, such as Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia.

What are the values of International Women’s Day?

It can different things to different people. But overall, 10 values that guide International Women's Day are:

  • Justice
  • Dignity
  • Hope
  • Equality
  • Collaboration
  • Tenacity
  • Appreciation
  • Respect
  • Empathy
  • Forgiveness

Is there a theme? What is it?

The 2018 theme is #PressforProgress (learn more about it here).

Where can I learn more and get involved?

And finally, what about International MEN’S Day?

It exists. It’s on November 19. You can learn more about it here.