International Women’s Day is March 8. It is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Its origins can be traced back to the early 1900s when women were demanding the right to vote, shorter working hours, and better pay.

International Women’s Day has occurred for well over a century, with the first International Women’s Day gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Prior to this the Socialist Party of America, United Kingdom’s Suffragists and Suffragettes, and other groups campaigned for women’s equality.

International Women’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.

International Women’s Day first emerged from the activities of labor movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe. Since those early years, International Women’s Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. The growing international women’s movement, which has been strengthened by four global United Nations women’s conferences, has helped make the commemoration a rallying point to build support for women’s rights and participation in the political and economic arenas.

Join the celebration! Plan a lunch with a program to honor women in your community or learn about our very own GFWC or NJSFWC great women from the past. You could also create a display for your library showcasing female authors and books about great women in history.

Karen Manneback
NJSFWC International Outreach CSP Chairman