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International Women’s Day 2024

Authored by British Online Archives
Published on 8th March, 2024 2 min read

International Women’s Day 2024

Today (08/03/2024) marks International Women’s Day, an annual global holiday that commemorates the cultural, political, social, and economic achievements of women. It has become a focal point in the women’s rights movement and is used to spotlight issues facing women, such as reproductive rights, abuse and violence, and gender inequality.

The predecessor of International Women’s Day was National Women’s Day, which was first held in New York on 28 February 1909. National Women’s Day, which was organised by labour activist Theresa Malkiel and the Socialist Party of America, is said to be in honour of the 1908 strikes of women workers in New York. In 1910 a German campaigner and socialist, Clara Zetkin, decided that an annual “Women’s Day” should be established. At the International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen Zetkinn proposed the idea that in every country there should be a day that promoted equal rights and advocated universal suffrage.

International Women's Day was cdlebrated for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland on 19 March 1911. More than a million women attended rallies campaigning for women’s right to vote, the right to hold public office, and protesting against gender discrimination in employment. By the end of the decade, the 8 March was settled on as International Women’s Day. This date was chosen to commemorate the important role that Russian women workers played in the Bolshevik revolution of 1917. Yet it was not until 1977 that the United Nations officially marked 8 March as International Woman’s Day globally. International Women's Day is now commemorated  in a variety of ways.

Every year International Women’s Day has a theme. For 2024 the theme is "Inspire Inclusion". This theme seeks to inspire economic empowerment, greater recruitment of female talent (especially in the STEM disciplines and in business), and increased access to quality education.

“Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women's equality.”

International Women’s Day provides a global platform for celebrating all women and their achievements. While it is a day to recognise the important social, economic, political, historical, and cultural contributions of women, it is also a day to recognise that gender inequality still exists. It provides an opportunity to improve our collective awareness of ongoing gender bias and what can be done to change this.


Authored by British Online Archives

British Online Archives

British Online Archives provides unique collections of primary source documents for students and researchers studying the Humanities and Social Sciences.


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The British Online Archives Notable Days diary is a platform intended to mark key dates and events throughout the year. The posts draw attention to historical events and figures, as well as recurring cultural traditions and international awareness days, in both religious and secular contexts.

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