March 8th - International Women's Day

International Women's Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In some countries like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, IWD is a national holiday. The first IWD event was run in 1911 so 2011 sees the Global Centenary.

For many years the United Nations has held an annual IWD conference to coordinate international efforts for women's rights and participation in social, political and economic processes. 1975 was designated as International Women's Year' by the United Nations. Women's organisations and governments around the world have also observed IWD annually on 8 March by holding large-scale events that honour women's advancement and while diligently reminding of the continued vigilance and action required to ensure that women's equality is gained and maintained in all aspects of life.

IWD is now an official holiday in China, Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother's Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.

The International Women's Day website at is a global hub for sharing International Women's Day news, events and resources. It provides a free service to women and organisations around the world wanting to share and promote their IWD activity, videos, opinions and ideas. Please feel free to submit gender-related items for the site that you consider relevant and useful.

Originally published on the International Women's Day website.

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