International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on 8 March. This day celebrates the social, economic, political and cultural achievements of women around the globe. It was a gathering more than a century ago in 1911 where the idea of Women’s Day first occurred.

History of International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day first emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe. In the year 1909 the first Women’s Day was celebrated in the United States on the 28th of February. The Socialist Party of America designated this day in honour of the 1908 garment workers’ strike in New York, where women protested against working conditions.

The following year in 1910, the Socialist International meeting in Copenhagen established a Women’s Day to honour the movement for women’s rights and to build support for achieving universal suffrage for women. There was no fixed date that as decided at this meeting. In 1911, Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland celebrated International Women’s Day on the 19th of March.

It was in 1975 that the United States celebrated International Women’s Day on the 8th of March.

International Women’s Day Theme for 2019

The theme for the International Women’s Day this year is #BalanceforBetter. In a world where women still face gender discrimination, this year’s theme looks to achieve gender-balance in boardrooms, government, media coverage, employees, wealth, sports and beyond.

In India, the #MeToo movement led to several women speaking up about unsafe work environments in the past year. This initiated conversation around making workplaces more inclusive and safe for women.

The #BalanceforBetter theme will continue to run throughout 2019.