International Women’s Day is March 8. Here’s why some people will be wearing red in solidarity.

By Real Simple
Updated March 06, 2018
International Women's Day Wear Red
Credit: Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Last year on International Women’s Day, organizers of the Women’s March called on women to take the day off work in protest, avoid shopping for one day, and wear red to support the movement, “A Day Without a Woman.” You might recall seeing colleagues, friends, and family members in red as a sign of solidarity, or maybe you wore red to honor the day, too. Wearing red was also a way to show support if you couldn’t take the day off.

This year for International Women’s Day 2018, you might see people wearing red, but it will convey a different message. Yes, the theme of the day is, at its core, a celebration of strong women everywhere and a call to support women’s rights and equality worldwide—but by wearing red, participants will show support for women voters. In a tweet, the organizers of the Women’s March encouraged people to “wear red in solidarity with women around the world,” as a way to “get ready to make history at the polls in 2018.” The organizers ask anyone who wears red to post a photo on social media, share why they vote, and include the hashtag #WomenPowerToThePolls.

Other women’s organizations have selected similarly empowering themes for International Women’s Day 2018. The IWD site has #PressProgress as its theme, stating, “Now, more than ever, there’s a strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity.” UN Women’s theme is “Time Is Now: Rural and Urban Activists Transforming Women’s Lives,” which celebrates movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp and women activists in rural areas.