What Is International Women's Day, and How Is It Celebrated?

By this point, you've probably heard about International Women's Day.

It occurs every year on March 8, and it's a major day to honor all of us strong females. Sounds pretty simple, right? But there's so much more to this global celebration than you might think.

Keep scrolling to learn everything you need to know about this monumental date!

The History

International Women's Day can trace its roots to the early 20th century, more than 100 years ago. In 1909, National Women's Day was celebrated in the United States to honor the 1908 garment workers' strike that allowed women to protest poor working conditions. In 1910, an International Women's Day was established during a conference in Copenhagen that honored the movement towards universal suffrage for women, and it was celebrated on various days in various countries over the next few decades as a way to advance women's rights. It wasn't until 1975 that the United Nations established March 8 as a global day to honor females. Since then, women have used this special date to continue working towards equality and to celebrate their various achievements across the globe.


What Honoring Women Means

The United Nations describes International Women's Day as "a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political." Basically, this means that this special date is a day for females across the world to band together in celebration of all the wonderful things they have accomplished, regardless of any potential differences.

Honoring women on this date means taking the time to celebrate social and political achievements or acts of courage that have played a role in the history of countries across the globe. There's no formula or metric by which to honor the occasion, it is simply a day set aside specifically for us, to celebrate what has already been accomplished and to empower women everywhere to accomplish more. 


The Colors of International Women's Day

If you're wondering what you should wear on International Women's Day, there are specific colors that signify the special day. Across the globe, purple is generally seen as a color to symbolize women. It represents equity and dignity, making it the perfect color to celebrate the self-respect and equality that we are all striving to achieve. In 1908, the U.K. used purple, green and white to symbolize women's equality. In recent years, the color yellow has also been added into the mix to celebrate a new age of women celebrating their achievements. Overall, purple is still the main shade to represent this day.


How It's Celebrated

Considering International Women's Day is a global event, there's no one way to celebrate. The day is usually marked by a variety of celebrations, each offering something different and unique. There are conferences and talks that take a more academic approach, while rallies and marches offer a space for any woman to meet with other women and celebrate their community. Theatrical performances can express the achievements of global women in an entertaining way, and networking events can allow them to meet new partners and friends in their communities.

The theme of this year's International Women's Day is #PressForProgress, which centers around the idea that we can band together as friends, colleagues and communities to create a world that is more gender-inclusive. Although many celebrations will be specifically geared towards this year's theme, celebrating this day on the simplest level simply involves creating a space where women can come together and create a community with each other.


Celebrating strong women starts with looking up to strong women. Click HERE to take our quiz and see which powerful Black Panther female you are.