By Cynthia Richie Terrell on March 08, 2019
International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated annually on March 8.
The day has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911.
The day is not country, group or organization specific - and belongs to all groups collectively everywhere.
Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist and activist once explained "The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights."
So make International Women's Day your day and do what you can to truly make a positive difference for women.
What is International Women's Day?
International Women's Day (March 8) 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.
No one government, NGO, charity, corporation, academic institution, women's network or media hub is solely responsible for International Women's Day. Many organizations declare an annual IWD theme that supports their specific agenda or cause, and some of these are adopted more widely with relevance than others. International Women's Day is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity.
International Women's Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action - whatever that looks like globally at a local level. But one thing is for sure, International Women's Day has been occurring for well over a century - and continue's to grow from strength to strength. Learn about the values that guide IWD's ethos.
What colours signify International Women's Day?
Internationally, purple is a colour for symbolising women. Historically the combination of purple, green and white to symbolise women's equality originated from the Women's Social and Political Union in the UK in 1908. Purple signifies justice and dignity. Green symbolises hope. White represents purity, but is no longer used due to 'purity' being a controversial concept.
A world-renowned jazz singer. A public health champion. A teacher who helped desegregate New York’s public transit. And a lighthouse keeper who is credited with saving dozens of lives.
On Wednesday, the city announced that these four female historical figures would be honored with statues in New York. The announcement followed a monthslong process seeking to fix what New York’s first lady, Chirlane McCray, called a “glaring” gender imbalance in the city’s streets and parks.
Statues of the four women — Billie Holiday, Helen Rodríguez Trías, Elizabeth Jennings Graham and Katherine Walker — will be placed in the boroughs they once called home. Once the statues are installed, all five boroughs will have at least one public statue of a woman.
Only five female historical figures are depicted in statues in New York City in outdoor public spaces, according to She Built NYC, a city effort to expand representation of women in public art and monuments. All of those statues are in Manhattan, like the sculpture of Eleanor Roosevelt in Riverside Park and the bronze of Harriet Tubman in Harlem.