What is International Women’s Day, you ask? Well, it was originally called International Working Women’s Day, and is celebrated on March 8 every year. In various parts of the world the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation, and love towards women to a celebration for women’s economic, political, and social achievements. What started as a Socialist political event has blended into the culture of many countries.
The earliest Women’s Day observance was held on February 28, 1909, in New York; it was organized by the Socialist Party of America in remembrance of the 1908 strike of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union. There was no specific strike happening on March 8, despite later claims.
Over time, the day lost much of its political flavor, and became simply an occasion for people to express their love for women in a way somewhat similar to a mixture of Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. However, the political and human rights theme designated by the United Nations still runs strong, and political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide are brought out and examined in a hopeful manner. Some people celebrate the day by wearing purple ribbons.
Many events are held in honor of International Women’s Day. Most are hosted by a non-profit organization or local news outlet and are sponsored by local retailers.
Each year, The UN assigns official themes for the holiday. The 2016 theme is “Make it Happen”.
A few recent, prior year UN International Woman’s Day Themes:
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!
6 Things to do to celebrate International Woman’s Week:
1. Go on a shopping spree with your lady friends for sanitary items, toiletries, cosmetics, etc. to be donated to a local woman’s shelter or domestic violence shelter.
2. Mentor a young woman in your workplace. Find someone you can build up, inspire to maintain a positive attitude and motivate to reach their goals.
3. Volunteer your time to a local charity that supports women. For example, almost every major city has local a Habitat for Humanity or YWCA. Check out our list of local Austin non-profit organizations.
4. Find some events near you. Here, Austin Woman Magazine is hosting their 5th Annual International Woman’s Day Celebration this year March 4 through March 8, with a series of cultural events, benefit shopping nights and special discounts.
5. Wear something purple On March 8th in honor of International Women’s day itself.
6. Has a woman you know made a significant, positive impact in your life? Honor her with surprise bouquet to thank her for all she has done and to let her know how special she is to you.