Do your bit: Focus on days highlighting international issues International Days and Observances
Intl. Women's Day
8 Mar
With gender-based discrimination still widespread around the world, the International Women's Day campaigns to promote and protect women's equal rights - as a fundamental human right.


The 2016 theme focusses on
"Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality"

More info

8 March is also the United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International Peace


ver the years, action for the advancement of women has taken four clear directions: (1) promotion of legal measures; (2) mobilization of public opinion and international action; (3) training and research, including the compilation of gender desegregated statistics; and (4) direct assistance to disadvantaged groups. A central organizing principle is that no enduring solution to society's most threatening social, economic and political problems can be found without the full participation, and the full empowerment, of the world's women.

International Women's Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. The growing international women's movement, which has been strengthened by four global United Nations women's conferences, has helped make the commemoration a rallying point for coordinated efforts to demand women's rights and participation in the political and economic process.

Gender equality and womenís empowerment are fundamental to the global mission of the United Nations to achieve equal rights and dignity for all. This is a matter of basic human rights, as enshrined in our founding Charter and the Universal Declaration. It is part of the Organizationís very identity.

But equality for women and girls is also an economic and social imperative. Until women and girls are liberated from poverty and injustice, all our goals -- peace, security, sustainable development -- stand in jeopardy.

- Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General

Previous themes of International women's Day:
  • 2011: Equal access to education, training and science and technology
  • 2010: Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all
  • 2009: Women and men united to end violence against women and girls
  • 2008: Investing in Women and Girls
  • 2007: Ending Impunity for Violence against Women and Girls
  • 2006: Women in decision-making
  • 2005: Gender Equality Beyond 2005: Building a More Secure Future
  • 2004: Women and HIV/AIDS
  • 2003: Gender Equality and the Millennium Development Goals
  • 2002: Afghan Women Today: Realities and Opportunities
  • 2001: Women and Peace: Women Managing Conflicts
  • 2000: Women Uniting for Peace
  • 1999: World Free of Violence against Women
  • 1998: Women and Human Rights
  • 1997: Women at the Peace Table
  • 1996: Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future
  • 1975: First IWD celebrated by the United Nations

Increasingly, International Women's Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of women's rights.

GDRC has been working on themes related to this international day/observance, in its programme on Gender and Development.

GDRC therefore reaffirms its committment to uphold the objectives of the International Women's Day, and work towards better understanding of, and action on, promoting and protecting women's equal rights - as a fundamental human right.

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