International Women’s Day: 6 Things You Need to Know

International Women’s Day 2018 falls on Thursday, March 8. To celebrate, here’s every question you had about IWD, answered.

Happy International Women’s Day (IWD)! As you've probably heard, there are plenty of ways to embrace the day, from supporting woman-owned businesses to honoring the women in your life. But, do you actually know what IWD is, or how it originated? The answer to both questions (and more) is fascinating. Keep reading for everything you need to know about International Women’s Day 2018.


When is International Women’s Day?

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International Women’s Day takes place on March 8 every year. This year it falls on a Thursday.


What is International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day is a United Nations-sanctioned, global holiday. It celebrates women’s contributions to society, raises awareness about the fight for gender parity, and inspires support for organizations that help women globally.


What is the International Women’s Day 2018 Theme?

For 2018, the theme of International Women’s Day is #PressforProgress. The 2017 International Women’s Day theme was #BeBoldforChange, and the 2016 theme was #PledgeforParity. All the themes have focused on rallying supporters to raise awareness and enact concrete actions to help create a world with more gender parity. This year, in particular, IWD is focusing on accelerating gender parity. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap report, gender parity won’t happen for more than 200 years, so IWD has its sights set on lowering that number by focusing on calls-to-action this year.


What is the history of International Women’s Day?

According to the United Nations, International Women’s Day started in America in 1909, when the Socialist Party of America took to the streets to honor garment workers who had protested against inhumane working conditions the year before. They called it National Women’s Day, and it took place on February 28. The following year, the Social International established Women’s Day in Copenhagen to celebrate those working for women’s rights and universal suffrage. In 1911, Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland celebrated the first official International Women’s Day on March 19. More than one million people attended rallies focused on suffrage, representation, education, and workers rights. Over the next few years, more countries in Europe marked the holiday on March 8. It wasn’t until March 8, 1975 when, during International Women’s Year, the United National celebrated it as an official holiday. Since 1975, the holiday has gained awareness around the globe as a way to recognize women for their achievements.


What is the International Women’s Day Color?

This year, the International Women’s Day color is Pantone’s Ultra Violet. Yes, if you’ve been keeping up with your color news, you’ll recognize Ultra Violet (18-3838), as not only the IWD color, but also the color of the year! Historically, purple has been a color to denote gender equality and has been used in suffrage and women’s liberation movements across history.


What is the International Women’s Day Logo?

The International Women’s Day Logo is a looping, arrowed circle with the female (or Venus) gender symbol at the inset. Groups and organizations that would like to use the logo, and follow the guidelines that IWD wants to represent, can download an IWD logo pack on