International Women’s Day is a day dedicated to honoring women and their achievements socially, economically, culturally, and politically. March 8 is a day dedicated to not only celebrating the achievements of women, but also to raise awareness for gender parity.
Feb. 16, 1908 Maud Malone orchestrated the The New York City Suffrage Parade of 1908. Malone rallied 15,000 women to march through the city of New York and demand shorter hours, better pay, and voting rights. In late Feb. 1909 the first National Women’s Day was established across the United States, and women continued to celebrate it that way until 1913.
The first ever IWD was celebrated in 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland on March 19. Millions of men and women got together to support womens' right to work, vote, hold public office, and to end sexism. In 1914, women in London rallied and marched from Bow to Trafalgar Square in support of the Women’s Suffrage movement on March 8.
International Women’s Day takes place on March 8 due to a group of women in Russia who participated in a four- day strike demanding peace and the right to vote, which took place on March 8 through March 12. The colors for this day are green, purple, and white. White represents purity, purple represents justice and dignity, and green symbolizes hope. Approximately 27 countries partake in this day. China allows women a half day at work, Italy celebrates by giving the mimosa blossom which is a very old tradition of giving flowers, and in the U.S. the president honors the achievements of American Women.
This year the theme of IWD is #Breakthebias. This theme focuses on a gender equal world. A world that is free of prejudice, stereotypes, and sexism. Whether this bias may be done on purpose or accidental it still happens, and this makes it difficult for women to get on the same playing field as men. The International Women’s Day website shares, “We can break the bias in our communities. We can break the bias in our workplaces. We can break the bias in our schools, universities, and colleges.”