International Women’s Day 2020 is on March 8. To celebrate, here are the Women’s Day facts you need to know.

By Real Simple Editors
Updated January 17, 2020

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, sending the women in your life International Women’s Day quotes and Happy Women’s Day messages, and exchanging International Women’s Day flowers. But do you actually know the fundamental International Women’s Day facts, like what Women’s Day is and the history behind it? The answers to both questions (and more) are fascinating. Keep reading for everything you need to know about International Women’s Day 2020, including this year’s theme and hashtags.

nito100/Getty Images

When is International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day takes place on March 8 every year to celebrate women’s rights and inspire people to act in the ongoing fight for gender equality. This year, March 8 falls on a Sunday.

Getty Images

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.

Gail Orenstein/Getty Images

What is the International Women’s Day history?

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 Nations celebrated it as an official holiday. Since 1975, the holiday has gained awareness around the globe as a way to recognize women.

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 that align with what International Women's Day wants to represent, can get more information on the terms of use and how to register the necessary IWD account on the International Women’s Day site.

The International Women’s Day 2020 theme

The International Women's Day theme for 2020 is #EachforEqual, which reminds everyone that it’s on each of us to help create a gender equal world. Last year, the International Women’s Day 2019 theme was #BalanceforBetter, focusing on the importance of achieving a gender-balanced world. In 2018, the theme of International Women’s Day was #PressforProgress, the 2017 Women’s Day theme was #BeBoldforChange, and the 2016 theme was #PledgeforParity.

UN Women also issued a 2020 theme: “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights.” UN Women has a new multigenerational campaign for pursuing equality called Generation Equality.

According to the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap report, gender parity won’t happen for more than 200 years, so the global International Women’s Day campaign has its sights set on lowering that number by focusing on calls-to-action year round.

Alex Bramwell/Getty Images

The International Women’s Day 2020 hashtags?

For starters, you can use #WomensDay on Twitter and it will automatically populate the female-gender-sign emoji, while the same Women’s Day hashtag on Instagram has generated more 2 million posts.

This year’s hashtags also include the thematic #EachforEqual, the straightforward #IWD2020, #InternationalWomensDay, and #SeeHer.