Every year on March 8th, people around the world come together to celebrate International Women’s Day. While many take this as an opportunity to celebrate the fantastic women in their lives who’ve made a positive impact, it runs much deeper than this.

International Women’s Day is about celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women around the globe, while raising awareness around the issues that women today still face. We’ll be delving into the details you need to know to get a better grasp of what the day stands for, and how you can get involved with International Women’s Day for 2022.

International Women’s Day background and history

The primary focus of International Women’s Day is commemorating the women’s rights movement, including women’s suffrage, and the continuing struggle for gender equality.

Today, not a single country is able to claim they have achieved gender equality, in spite of the strides made since the first International Women’s Day. The gender pay gap and prevalent violence against women are just two examples of the wider struggles that women still experience now.

There are four main things which International Women’s Day aims to achieve each year:

  • Celebrate the achievements of women, both current and throughout history
  • Raise awareness around women’s equality and the inequality women face daily
  • Increase the speed at which equality will be reached through lobbying and campaigning
  • Encourage donations to female-focused charities who help women deal with issues stemming from inequality.

Key International Women’s Day facts

As a precursor to International Women’s Day, the Socialist Party of America held the first National Women’s Day in 1909.

The first International Women’s Day was observed in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March 1911.

March 8th became the agreed date for International Women’s Day after discussions between nations in 1913, as both the Gregorian and Julian calendars were in use around the world.

In 1914, Sylvia Pankhurst was arrested on her way to speak at Trafalgar Square for a women’s suffrage march on International Women’s Day.

International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time by the United Nations in 1975.

The first themed International Women’s Day took place in 1996, which was announced by the UN as ‘Celebrating the past, Planning for the future’.

2011 marked the 100th anniversary of the first International Women’s Day, with activists around the world taking to the streets to remind people that gender equality is still a key issue that needs to be solved globally.

This year’s international women’s day theme

For 2022, the theme for International Women’s Day is #breakthebias.

The aim of this is to encourage people to look beyond societal bias, as well as their own, to see how we can forge a stronger world when we see each other as equal. By embracing each other as equal within a diverse and inclusive global community, we would remove discrimination and value the differences that people bring.

How is International Women’s Day celebrated?

When it comes to what you can do to support International Women’s Day, this can be an incredibly personal exercise:

  • If there is a specific cause that you wish to support, then you can donate to relevant charities or help raise funds through activities or sponsored events.
  • Helping raise awareness through your personal experiences can join your voice with others to demonstrate the magnitude of what needs to be done, encouraging others to get involved.
  • Joining demonstrations can help you discover communities vying for equality, as well as taking a stand for the causes linked to International Women’s Day

Inspirational women through history for International Women’s Day

Part of how International Women’s Day is now celebrated can include platforming women who motivate us and act as role models.

There may be a woman in your life who has helped you become the person you are today – and celebrating them helps demonstrate how women fight to thrive in an unequal world. We’ve looked at some female icons who have taken on the world and made history.

Evelyn Scott

Activist Evelyn Scott consistently fought for the rights of indigenous Australian people throughout her life, playing a key role during the 1967 Constitutional Referendum. Her efforts resulted in a monumental triumph, as the indigenous people were included in the national census and discriminatory references to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were removed from the constitution. This also provided further leverage within government to build a more inclusive Australia for all inhabitants moving forward. 

Edith Cowan

Instantly recognisable as the face donning the $50 note, Edith Cowan became the first woman elected to Australian parliament. Cowan campaigned for both woman’s rights and women’s right to vote across her life, including co-founding Western Australia’s National Council of Women and the Karrakatta Club. Her impact on Australia’s political landscape cannot be understated in the fight for equality, but Cowan also proved vital for building the King Edward Memorial Hospital for Women and supported children’s rights and welfare.

Amelia Earhart

As the first woman to cross over the Atlantic Ocean solo via airplane back in 1928, Amelia Earhart is one of the most celebrated aviation icons in the world as a pioneering pilot. Despite this, only 6.8% of pilots are women despite there being more female pilots than ever before – possibly meaning that greater representation of women in modern aviation is needed.

Wilhelmina Wylie & Sarah Durack

Wylie and Durack rewrote women’s swimming history in New South Wales, Australia. When women were banned from any competition where men competed, including major sporting events, Wilhelmina and Sarah wowed on-lookers at the Wylie Baths in Coogee. Public pushback against these regulations launched them into the 1912 Olympic Games, where they broke many world records. Flash-forward to 2020, and Emma McKeon took home seven Olympic medals – the most ever achieved by a female Olympian in a single Olympics.

Aretha Franklin

Respectfully referred to as ‘The Queen of Soul’, Aretha Franklin became the first women elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. Her legacy is filled with hit anthems with feminist themes such as ‘Respect’, and she is recognised as one of the greatest musical artists of all time. This set the stage for future women to be inducted, such as The Supremes, Tina Turner, and Billie Holiday.

Frida Kahlo

Born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón, the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo produced artistic works reflected on identity and sought to break down the traditional ideas of feminine beauty. Her paintings helped to remove boundaries and bias around the form women were expected to take, as her self-portraits saw her sporting the iconic monobrow and moustache.

Supporting International Women’s Day with us

If you’re wondering how you can get involved with International Women’s Day or supporting female-focused charities, then online surveys for money can actually help. By taking our surveys, you can earn money online which can then be redeemed as PayPal funds.

This can then be used to donate to the charity of your choice, provided they have an option for one-off, online donations. If you’re interested in using your spare time to earn money online for charities, you can sign up here.

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