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Facts About International Women's Day

It's International Women's Day! An event held around the world to commemorate the history of women's rights.


  • Originally called International Working Women's Day.

  • First celebrated on February 28, 1909 in NYC in remembrance of the 1908 strike of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union when 15,000 workers marched through the city's lower east side to demand social and political rights.

  • International Women's Day was officially recognized in 1914, five years after its inception on March 8.

  • Declared a national holiday in the Soviet Union in 1917, and was predominantly celebrated by the socialist movement until  the UN adopted it in 1977.

  • Since 1996, the UN has assigned a theme to every IWD. This year's theme is "Be bold for change."

  • According to the UN, it is “a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. It is an occasion for looking back on past struggles and accomplishments, and more importantly, for looking ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women.”

  • IWD is an official holiday in several countries including Afghanistan, Cambodia, Mongolia, Vietnam and Zambia and for women only in countries including China, Madagascar and Nepal.

  • In some countries, such as Armenia, China, Cuba, Russia, Ukraine and Zambia, IWD is an official holiday, where men honor women with flowers and gifts.

  • Additionally, this year more than 30 countries will take part in 'A Day Without Women', showing solidarity against discrimination and misogyny by not going into work, not spending money and wearing red to symbolize 'revolutionary love and sacrifice'.


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