International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day

March 8 is International Women’s Day (IWD), we look at this global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. In recent years, the day has also become a call to action for accelerating gender parity. IWD is celebrated around the world with arts performances, conferences, marches, rallies, talks, and networking events.

Begun in Europe in the early 1900’s, today IWD is celebrated in more than 100 countries, including Australia, Canada, India, Japan, New Zealand, Pakistan, The Philippines, South Africa, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It is also an official holiday in many countries, including Afghanistan, Armenia, China for women only), Cuba, Russia, Uganda, Ukraine, Vietnam, and Zambia as well as in the region of Palestine.

The first IWD was on March 19, 1911 and was observed by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Women participated in hundreds of demonstrations and demanded that they be given the right to vote and to hold public office. They also protested against sex discrimination in employment. IWD was held on March 8 for the first time in Germany in 1914. The day was intended to promote suffrage (the right to vote) for German women. After that, many countries began observing IWD on March 8.

In 1975, as part of International Women’s Year, the United Nations (UN) began officially recognising and sponsoring IWD on March 8 and it became a national holiday in even more nations. Each year, the UN designates an official campaign theme for IWD.

Recognition of IWD in March led to the entire month being declared Women’s History Month in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. It is a time to recognise women’s achievements and contributions to society. Women’s History Month has been celebrated in March in Australia since 2000, and in the United Kingdom since 2011.

World Book eBooks

Your World Book eBook platform includes biographies about many women who have and are currently challenging stereotypes and bias to empower women and make a positive difference for women worldwide.

Access the titles by clicking on the direct link below.
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Fusion-Powered Spacecraft (with NASA inventor Stephanie Thomas)
Martian Cave Colonies (with NASA inventor Penny Boston)
Printable Probes and Cosmic Confetti (with NASA inventor Kendra Short)
Second-Skin Space Suit (with NASA inventor Dava Newman)

Elizabeth Blackwell: with profiles of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Susan La Flesche Picotte
Golda Meir: with profiles of David Ben-Gurion and Yitzhak Rabin

Vida Goldstein

Vida Goldstein was an Australian feminist and campaigner for woman suffrage.
Credit: National Library of Australia

World Book continues its celebration of International Women’s Day with a look at Australian feminist and campaigner for woman suffrage Vida Goldstein.

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