What is International Women’s Day?

What is International Women’s Day?

jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG Tuesday 8th March 2022


What is International Women’s Day?

The day dedicated to the achievements of women has been celebrated for over a century.

Clara Zetkin, (our headline photo), the German communist founded International Women’s Day in 1910.

Today Tuesday 8th March 2022 marks International Women’s Day, also known as IWD, an event celebrated around the world for more than a century to highlight the achievements of women.

Celebrated annually on 8 March, the day is dedicated to the “social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women” but also calls for more action to be taken on improving gender equality. In particular, it calls for “accelerating gender parity”, according to the International Women’s Day site.

What are the origins of IWD?

IWD “grew out of the labour movement to become an annual event recognised by the United Nations”, explained the BBC.

The “seeds” of the international celebration were sown in 1908, when “15,000 women marched through New York demanding shorter working hours, better pay and the right to vote”. The next year, the first National Woman’s Day was announced by the Socialist Party of America.

Clara Zetkin, a German communist and women’s rights activist born in 1857, came up with the idea of an international day for women at the International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen in 1910 – “and the 100 women there, from 17 countries, agreed to it unanimously”, said the BBC.

As a result IWD was first celebrated in 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, making this year, technically, the 111th International Women’s Day. But the day was only officially recognised by the United Nations in 1975.

It is a national holiday in several countries including Russia, “where flower sales double” in the days before the event, as well as in China, where women are given half a day off work.

This year’s IWD theme

The UN has said that the theme for 2022 is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, which is aimed at “recognizing the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all”, according to UN Women.

“Women are increasingly being recognized as more vulnerable to climate change impacts than men, as they constitute the majority of the world’s poor and are more dependent on the natural resources which climate change threatens the most,” said the website.

“At the same time, women and girls are effective and powerful leaders and change-makers for climate adaptation and mitigation. They are involved in sustainability initiatives around the world, and their participation and leadership results in more effective climate action.”

A second theme chosen by the International Women’s Day website is  #BreakTheBias, which asks people to imagine “a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination”.

UK-based events

A virtual panel with UN leaders, climate activists and celebrities will be hosted by the UN on 8 March.

Across the UK, a host of events will be taking place. One of the biggest is the WOW: Women of the World festival at London’s Southbank Centre, which claims to be the “world’s biggest, most comprehensive festival celebrating women, girls and non-binary people”.

The BFI Southbank is running a film season from 3 to 15 March called The Camera Is Ours: Britain’s Women Documentary Makers, including pioneering works from Ruby and Marion Grierson, Evelyn Spice and Muriel Box.

The National Gallery is also hosting a series of online events celebrating women in the arts, including a forum exploring the way women artists have interacted with the national collection, and a lecture examining the role played by art historian Anna Jameson in the reception of Raphael’s work in the 19th century.

Source: THE WEEK.



On March 8th every year we celebrate International Women’s Day all over the world. The day was first marked on 28th February 1909, when The Socialist Party of America coined it ‘National Women’s Day’ in support of striking garment workers. From the early 1900s onwards it shifted to 8th March and became a day used to highlight women’s suffrage amongst other causes.

In 1975 the UN made it official and so we had our modern International Women’s Day as we know it now. Over 100 years on from the original Women’s Day, there’s still so much that needs to be changed and these are changes that we need now more than ever. Here are 11 reasons why we need International Women’s Day…

  1. 28 girls a minute are being forced to marry against their will.


  1. 1 in 3 women will experience violence.

According to the World Health Organisation, it is estimated that one in three women will experience some kind of physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime. As a result of national lockdowns, cases of domestic abuse skyrocketed in what the UN called the ‘shadow pandemic’. Calls to domestic violence helplines increased during the pandemic by 40% in Malaysia, 50% in China and Somalia and a huge 79% in Colombia.


  1. It will take nearly 140 years to bridge the gender gap.

The Global Gender Gap Report 2021 found that at our current rate, it will take another 135.6 years to achieve equality between men and women globally.


  1. In the United States, there are fewer women in leadership positions than there are men named John.

Yes, you read that correctly: more men called John than women holding leadership roles. According to the 2018 Women in the Workplace report, only 38% of management positions are held by women.


  1. The character of the Joker has won the same number of Oscars as the whole of womankind ever has for directing

In the 93 year history of the Academy Awards, just eight women have been nominated in the Best Director category. Ever. Until Chloé Zhao’s win in 2021 for Nomadland, the only winner was Kathryn Bigelow in 2010 for the film The Hurt Locker. The character of The Joker, on the other hand, has earned an Oscar for both Heath Ledger (Best Supporting Actor, 2009) and Joaquin Phoenix (Best Actor, 2020).


  1. 181 million girls and young women are not in education, employment or training.

We all know that when we educate girls we enrich both individuals and communities – in every sense of the word too, from better employment prospects to better healthcare, educating young girls is essential.


  1. 72 countries don’t allow women to open a bank account.

Saudi Arabia is among the countries that bar women from opening a bank account or obtaining credit without permission from a guardian, while others require a woman to be married before she can access financial services.


  1. 1 in 10 women have self-harmed because of their body image.

According to a 2019 study by the Mental Health Foundation, 10% of women have felt so bad about their appearance that they have self-harmed. In a similar survey, King’s University found that 87% of women compare their body to images they consume on social and traditional media, and 50% of those compare them unfavourably. Campaigns such as ‘Be Real’ are working to combat body image issues by encouraging people to take a pledge to champion body positivity.


  1. Women make up 70% of the health workforce but hold fewer leadership positions than men in the sector.


  1. Women are taking on three times as much domestic work as men.

With the rise in homeschooling as a result of lockdowns, women have ended up bearing the brunt of the increased domestic workload. Whether that means teaching children, managing the household, cooking or cleaning, women took on three times more work around the house and unpaid care compared to men even before the pandemic. Since then, data from 16


countries has shown that women with children at home spent 31 hours per week on childcare during COVID-19 – up from 26 hours previously.


  1. Women face higher poverty rates than men – particularly if they are from a non-white background

Because of so many factors already on this list, it isn’t a surprise that women face higher poverty rates than men – wage inequality, unpaid labour, unemployment, the gender education gap.


REMEMBER: The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.

– Nicolas Chamfort


10 Quotes About Women by Women.

  1. Well-behaved women rarely make history. – Eleanor Roosevelt.
  2. There is nothing stronger than a broken woman who has rebuilt herself. – Hannah Gadsby.
  3. Life is tough, my darling, but so are you. – Stephanie Bennett-Henry.
  4. You should never let your fears prevent you from doing what you know is right. – Aung San Suu Kyi.
  5. Always be a first-rate version of yourself instead of a second-rate version of somebody else. – Judy Garland.
  6. We realize the importance of our voice when we are silenced. – Malala Yousafzai.
  7. Where there is a woman, there is magic. – Ntozake Shange.
  8. I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fears; knowing what must be done does away with fear. – Rosa Parks.
  9. There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish. – Michelle Obama.
  10. Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights. – Hillary Clinton.



Happiness is… International Women’s Day


What do you call a mom who turns into a dad? Transparent.


Love is…when a crush becomes the real thing.


A time to be a daughter…A time to be a Mum.





©2022 Phil M Robinson