International Women Day

IAS Prelims 2023

International Women’s Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women’s Day, is celebrated on March 8 every year. It commemorates the struggle for women’s rights.

The earliest Women’s Day observance was held on February 28, 1909, in New York and organized by the Socialist Party of America.

March 8, 1917 in the capital of Russian Empire, Petrograd, began a demonstration of women textile workers, covering the whole city. This was the beginning of the Russian Revolution. Seven days later, the Emperor of Russia Nicholas II abdicated and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote.

March 8 declared a national holiday in the Soviet Russia in 1917, it was predominantly celebrated by the socialist movement and communist countries until it was adopted in 1975 by the United Nations.

Year UN Theme
1996 Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future
1997 Women and the Peace Table
1998 Women and Human Rights
1999 World Free of Violence Against Women
2000 Women Uniting for Peace
2001 Women and Peace: Women Managing Conflicts
2002 Afghan Women Today: Realities and Opportunities
2003 Gender Equality and the Millennium Development Goals
2004 Women and HIV/AIDS
2005 Gender Equality Beyond 2005; Building a More Secure Future
2006 Women in Decision-making
2007 Ending Impunity for Violence Against Women and Girls
2008 Investing in Women and Girls
2009 Women and Men United to End Violence Against Women and Girls
2010 Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All
2011 Equal Access to Education, Training, and Science and Technology: Pathway to Decent Work for Women
2012 Empower Rural Women, End Poverty and Hunger
2013 A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women
2014 Equality for Women is Progress for All
2015 Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture it!
2016 Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality
2017 Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030