International Women's Day 2018

International Women's Day, recognized annually on March 8, is a day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. International Women's Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy, and action.

The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity (the Gender Parity Index (GPI) is a socioeconomic index designed to measure the relative access to education of males and females).

International Women's Day (IWD) has been observed since the early 1900s, which was a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world. The United States saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies (see below).

No one government, NGO, charity, corporation, academic institution, women's network, or media outlet is solely responsible for International Women's Day. Many organizations declare an annual IWD theme that supports their specific agenda or cause.

This year's IWD theme is Press for Progress. With the World Economic Forum's 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings telling us that gender parity is over 200 years away there has never been a more important time to keep motivated and #PressforProgress. With global activism for women's equality fueled by movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp (and more), there is a strong global momentum striving for gender parity. The IWD campaign theme provides a unified direction and a guide to collective action.

To learn more about International Women's Day, how to get involved, and to find an IWD event near you, visit!

Check out some important dates in Women's Rights...

1866 The American Equal Rights Association holds its first meeting. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony are among the founding members. The AERA unites abolitionists, African-American activists, and feminists in pursuit of racial and gender equality.

1878 Senator A. A. Sargent of California introduces into the Senate a women's suffrage amendment drafted by Susan B. Anthony. The text of the amendment will remain unchanged through its ratification as the 19th Amendment in 1920.

1919 The United States Senate passes the 19th Amendment. Having already passed in the House of Representatives, the amendment is sent to the states for ratification.

1923 The Equal Rights Amendment, drafted by Alice Paul, is introduced in the Senate. It reads, "Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction." Although the amendment will be introduced in every session of Congress, it will not reach the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote until 1971.

1966 Betty Friedan and a small group of women, gathering in Washington, D.C. for the Third National Conference of Commissions on the Status of Women, found NOW—the National Organization for Women. NOW will hold its organizing meeting in October and Friedan will be elected president.

1982 The deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment passes with only 35 of the needed 38 states approving the amendment. Opposition to the amendment is strongest in the South and Southwest.

1994 The Violence Against Women Act funds services for victims of rape and domestic violence, allows women to seek civil rights remedies for gender-related crimes, provides training to increase police and court officials’ sensitivity and a national 24-hour hotline for battered women.

2009 Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act allows victims, usually women, of pay discrimination to file a complaint with the government against their employer within 180 days of their last paycheck.

2013 The ban against women in military combat positions is removed; this overturned a 1994 Pentagon decision restricting women from combat roles.


  1. Your blog looks different! Thanks for the history and reminder about international women's day!

  2. This is such a great blog post. It's making me want to watch Not For Ourselves Alone. Have you ever seen that documentary? It's about the suffrage movement, told through the lens of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony's friendship. It's my all-time favorite documentary!