Today, March 8th, is International Women’s Day. This is a day to celebrate women and their mark on history, business, and society. As a women who runs a small business I became really interested in the history of this particular holiday. Turns out its it’s over 100 years old! Here are some of the highlights of International Women’s Day’s illustrious history.
- Earliest Women’s Day observance was called “National Women’s Day ” and was held February 28th 1909 in New York.
- This first Women’s Day was organized by the Socialist Party of America at the suggestion of Theresa Malkiel
- In August of 1910, an International Socialist Women’s Conference was organized during which Luise Zietz proposed to establish an annual “Women’s Day”.
- No date was specified at the conference, but the 100 delegates from 17 different countries agreed to the idea.
- The idea for the holiday was to use it to promote equal rights for women.
- March 19, 1911 International Women’s Day was marked for the first time by over one million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland.
- In 1913 Russian women joined the American women in celebrating International Women’s Day on the last Saturday of February.
- In 1914 Germany held its holiday on March 8th, marking the first time the holiday was celebrated on this date. It soon became the official date for International Women’s Day.
- The United Nations began officially celebrating International Women’s Day in 1975, which was International Women’s Year.
- In 1977 the United Nations General Assembly invited its member states to proclaim March 8th as the United Nations day for women’s rights and world peace.
- In 2011 President Barack Obama proclaimed March to be Women’s History Month.
- President Obama also asked that International Women’s Day be marked by reflecting on the extraordinary accomplishments of women in shaping history.
- Each year International Women’s Day has a theme. The theme for 2019 is “Think equal, build smart, and innovate for change”.
I hope you learned a little about this holiday, if you would like to learn more check out this article that gives more detail into the holiday. Please take a moment thank an inspiring women in your life. If you have a women in your life, or a historical women, that changed your life please comment below and share your story. I’d love to learn more.
Additional Holidays Honoring Women
- Rosa Parks Day (Feb 4 & Dec 1)
- National Girls and Women in Sports Day (a day during the first week of Feb)
- Susan B. Anthony Day (Feb 15)
- International Women’s Day (March 8)
- Harriet Tubman Day (March 10)
- Helen Keller Day (June 27)
- Women’s Equality Day (August 26) for more information on this holiday see my blog post here