Blog Article

A history of International Women’s Day

A history of International Women’s Day

Date: 8th March 2023

On March 8th, we celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD)! Taking place annually, IWD is an opportunity to honour the achievements of women past and present, while also raising awareness of women’s rights to pave the way for the future.

Traced back to as early as 1908, International Women’s Day emerged at a time when the industrial revolution was booming and the call for women’s rights was growing louder. Frustrated with oppression and the stark inequality within society, women started campaigning for change.

The movement first gained momentum in the United States, where 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better working conditions, fair pay and voting rights.

In 1910, at an international conference in Copenhagen for Working Women, Clara Zetkin (Leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany), proposed the idea of a Women’s Day – an annual celebration held by every country. Following unanimous approval, Zetkins idea was made a reality, and International Women’s Day was born.

IWD was then honoured for the first time across Europe in 1911, which saw over one million women and men attending IWD rallies in Austria, Germany, Denmark, and Switzerland – all campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote and hold public office. To create unity, in 1913, it was decided that IWD would be held on an annual basis on March 8th.

Fast forward to the 1970s, and IWD was formally recognised by the UN for the first time. It was declared that member states would see a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace, to fall within their respective traditions.

International Women’s Day 2023

Since 1996, each International Women’s Day has been celebrated with a theme in focus. Every year, individuals worldwide, take to social media in support of IWD.

This year the theme is ‘#EmbraceEquity’ – a theme which aims to spark a global conversation on ‘Why equal opportunities aren’t enough’.

IWD 2023 is about recognising the importance of embracing differences and pushing for inclusivity, no matter someone’s gender, ability, or race. Equality still remains the goal of IWD, equity is the way to achieve it!

How can I get involved?

IWD is asking people around the globe to ‘give equity a huge embrace’ by posting a picture of yourself, friends or family hugging themselves with the hashtags ‘#EmbraceEquity’ and ‘#IWD2023’, on social media.

Alternatively, people can also send in their photos via the IWD website –

What else can I do?

Want to do more? Striking this year’s pose isn’t the only way to celebrate International Women’s Day, you can:

  • Support women-owned businesses.
  • Watch films/ TV shows directed or produced by women.
  • Read literature written by women.
  • Pay homage to inspirational women – are there women throughout history you look up to?

Or finally, you can simply recognise the incredible women in your own life – even if it’s through an appreciation post, a quick chat or just a hug!

This International Women's Day, make the decision to begin to share your story. Be inspired to document your legacy for future generations, creating a family heirloom that can last a lifetime. Get in touch for more information on our storytelling process.