International Women’s Day (IWD) 8 March is a global day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. March 8 also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality and equity.

The first IWD gathering in 1911 was supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively globally. IWD is global and not specific to any country, group, or organization. 

IWD 2022 Theme 

The UN theme for IWD2022 is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”. Their events will focus on how women around the world are responding to climate change. 

There are also other themes around the world. The International Women’s Day website is designed to provide a platform to help women for positive change.

It has chosen the theme ‘Break The Bias’ and is asking people to imagine “a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination”. It has created some slogans as below: 

Slogans of IWD 2022 campaign theme: #BreakTheBias 
  • Imagine a gender-equal world. 
  • We want world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. 
  • A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. 
  • Let’s make world a home where difference is valued and celebrated. 
  • Together we can forge women’s equality. 
  • Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias. 
BreakTheBias IWD2022 theme
IWD2022 theme- #BreakTheBias

Every year on 8 March, people hear about International Women’s Day on media, on roads, in events around them. Many people don’t know about the history and the objective of this day.

Some people perceive it as a protest and some think it is a celebration. To clarify all these concepts, let’s have a glance at International Women’s Day- 8 March. 


‘International Women’s Day’ (IWD) was founded by Clara Zetkin in 1910. In the beginning, it was a labor movement that became an annual event recognized by the United Nations. 

In 1908, around 15,000 women marched through New York. Their demands were shorter working hours, better wages, and the right to vote. In 1909 the Socialist Party of America declared the first National Woman’s Day. 

In 1910 there was an International Conference on Working Women in Copenhagen. There, a communist activist and women’s rights advocate Clara Zetkin suggested the creation of an international day for women. 

There were about 100 women from 17 countries who agreed to it unanimously. In 1911, International Women’s Day was first celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland.

Then in 2011, its centenary was celebrated and this year 111th anniversary of IWD is being celebrated. The United Nations in 1975 started officially celebrating 8 March as International Women’s Day. The first theme was adopted in 1996 as “Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future”. 

Why 8 March? 

Clara suggested the idea but there was no fixed date for International Women’s Day. In 1917, there was a wartime strike in Russia. In this strike, women demanded “bread and peace”.

The four-day strike forced the Tsar to resign and the provisional government accepted the women’s ‘right to vote. As the strike began on 8 March so this date became International Women’s Day. 

Purple Color 

In 1908 the ‘Women Social and Political Union (WSPU) in the UK gave the significance of the symbolic colors. The purple color is associated with IWD as it signifies ‘justice and dignity.

According to the International Women’s Day website the colors of the IWD are purple, green, and white. The Purple is for justice and dignity, the Green symbolizes hope and White represents purity.  

8 March Celebrations

International Women’s Day is a national holiday in many countries. Russia celebrates it as a national day. In China, the State Council advised giving women a half-day off work on 8 March. 

In Italy, IWD, or La Festa Della Donna, is celebrated by giving mimosa blossoms. The origin of this tradition began in Rome after World War II. The US celebrates the whole month of March as Women’s History Month.

An annual presidential proclamation honors the achievements of American women. The post coronavirus world celebrates IWD through virtual events around the world, including the UN online celebration. 

During the International Women’s Day official UN Observance, Secretary-General António Guterres emphasized the important role of centered women and girls in fighting climate change.

UN Women Executive Director, Sima Bahous said: “Climate change is a threat multiplier. But women, and especially young women, are solution multipliers”. 

Commemoration events around the world 

International Women’s Day commemoration events globally included ministerial meetings, rallies, marches, media workshops, storytelling and content production, photo exhibits, celebrities’ engagements, and social media activations.  

Over 110 Stock Exchanges hosted bell-ringing ceremonies around the world to demonstrate their support for women’s rights and gender equality. They are celebrating this ceremony for 8 years. 

IWD2022 was celebrated in many countries. In Abu Dhabi, ADX Trading Hall, the UN Women Deputy Executive Director, Anita Bhatia joined the ceremony during her official visit to UAE. 

The United Nations Department of Peace Operations presented the photo exhibition in a Photoville in New York and at the World Expo in Dubai. It was held in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, and UN Women.

The presentation theme was “In Their Hands: Women Taking Ownership of Peace”.  International Women’s Day is a day to analyze how far women have come in society, politics, and economics. The political roots of the day mean strikes and protests are arranged for raising awareness against inequality.