1. While International Women’s Day is now largely aimed at inspiring women across the world and celebrating their achievements, its roots are in movements campaigning for better pay and voting rights.
2. The first National Women’s Day was marked on 28 February 1909 in the United States after a declaration by the Socialist Party of America.
3. During an International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen the following year, Clara Zetkin, leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany, suggested the idea of an International Women’s Day.
She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day. The idea was met with unanimous approval.
4. 1911 saw IWD honoured for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on March 19. Over a million people attended rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination.
5. On the eve of World War I campaigning for peace, Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. In 1965, it was declared as a non working day in the USSR.
6. International Women’s Day was transferred to 8 March that same year and has remained the global date for the event ever since.
7. In 1975, the United Nations gave official sanction to International Women’s Day and began sponsoring it.
8. The United States now designates the whole month of March as ‘Women’s History Month’.
9. IWD is also an official holiday in 15 countries.
10. Over the past few years Google have marked the occasion with a “Google Doodle”, changing their logo on the search engine’s homepage to reflect the occasion.