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International Women's Day

Posted by Sara Sheriff on 2021-03-06

What is International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a key day to commemorate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of all women. It is a global event and is celebrated on March 8th. Each year, different countries and organizations use distinct themes to celebrate IWD; one theme for this year  is #ChooseToChallenge. Click here to find out more!

History of International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day has been celebrated for over a century, with 2021 marking the 110th celebration. The catalyst to IWD can be traced to 1908 when 15,000 women marched through New York City to demand better labour rights. In 1910, at the International Socialist Women’s Conference in Copenhagen, Clara Zetkin proposed the idea of an annual “Women’s Day” to celebrate equal rights for women; 100 women from 17 countries attended and there was a unanimous agreement of her decision. After women gained suffrage in Soviet Russia in 1917, IWD spread through the socialist world, until it was adopted by the feminist movement in 1967. The United Nations began celebrating IWD in 1977.

Do we still need International Women’s Day?

Unfortunately, there is still a pressing need for the day as its original aim – to achieve full gender equality for all women across the world – has not yet been actualized. There are many instances of gender inequality that still occur today, including a gender pay gap; lack of female leaders in comparison to male leaders; violence against women and girls; and disparities in healthcare and education for women in comparison to men. These are just a few examples. For a full report on gender equality click here to see the latest trends and statistics.

Who can support International Women’s Day?

Anyone! International Women’s Day belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. This year, the Essex Student Journal is calling to students to help promote the importance of IWD. If you are a current undergraduate or postgraduate student at Essex and you have an essay, research paper, or case study that relates to the promotion of all women’s rights, the Essex Student Journal is the best place for it! Have a look at our submission guidelines by clicking here to find out more. Or, why not send us an email at 


call for papers, submissions, feminism

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