International Women’s Day 2023: When is International Women’s Day, why do we celebrate it and origins

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International Women’s Day was only adopted by the UN in 1977, but its initial origins began almost 70 years prior to that

International Women’s Day is a global holiday celebrated annually on March 8 as a focal point in the women’s rights movement.

It also highlights issues women face, such as bringing attention to topics such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women. The theme for the day this year is DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.

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Every year, the theme tries to tie in with global issues that are faced by all. This was seen in 2021, when the theme was "Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world". The theme for 2022 was linked to climate change.

Whilst it highlights and attempts to address the hardships that women face, it also celebrates  the incredible achievements of women. In several countries across the world, the day is marked down as a public holiday.

International Women’s Day was reportedly sparked by the universal female suffrage movement in New Zealand. The earliest celebration was a ‘women’s day’ organised by the Socialist Party of America in New York City February 28, 1909.

The events from 1909 saw German delegates at a 1910 International Socialist Women’s Conference propose "a special Women’s Day". Whilst no set date was put forward, they suggested it should be an annual event.

From then on, the holiday was largely associated with far-left movements until its adoption by the global feminist movement in the late 1960s. And in 1977, it was recognised by the United Nations.

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