Origins of International Women’s Day
March 8 was first declared “National Women’s Day” by the U.S. Congress in 1911. In 1975, during International Women’s Year, the United Nations began celebrating March 8 as International Women’s Day. The Day is traditionally marked with a message from the Secretary-General.
The purpose of the Day is to recognize the fact that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms requires the active participation, equality and development of women; and to acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security. For the women of the world, the Day’s symbolism has a wider meaning: it is an occasion to review how far they have come in their struggle for equality, peace and development. It is also an opportunity to unite, network and mobilize for meaningful change (www.internationalwomensday.org). The world-wide theme for the 2017 celebration is