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Monday, March 8, 2021

Celebrating International Women’s Day & National Women’s History Month

'Fearless Girl' Statue (New York City, NY)

While International Women’s Day has only been officially observed by the United Nations since 1975, its origins have long standing roots around the world. Globally, Women’s Day has been observed since the early 1900s. Starting in 1908, the United States saw National Women’s Day first observed in late February. This was a day designated in honor of the 1908 garment workers’ strike, where working conditions were protested by groups of female workers. A year later in Europe, a movement began in Copenhagen, Denmark, seeking women’s rights and to gather support for universal suffrage for women. In 1911, the first official International Women’s Day took place across Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, with over one million women and men attending rallies, seeking women’s rights to vote, work, and hold public offices.

In the following decades, Women’s Day became recognized elsewhere around the world, as women all over continued to seek civil, social, and political rights in the backdrop of WWI and eventually WWII. It was thanks to the hard work of these women and their continued dedication that eventually led the U.N. to officially adopt March 8th as International Women’s day in 1975.

Today, International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month is a time for us to celebrate female leaders and highlight the achievements of women all over the world, while still making known the disparity between genders and acknowledging the diversity of issues faced by women all over.

Every year, a theme is given to International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is titled “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”. The theme acknowledges all women at the front line, defending against COVID-19, acting as healthcare workers and caregivers, as well as leaders, community organizers, and much, much more. 

Along with this year’s theme, the rallying cry #ChoosetoChallenge reminds us to not be complacent, but to challenge the status quo. The world can only truly evolve if made to do so. The responsibility to call out inequality and gender bias falls on all of us. 

In addition to honoring historical female figures and current female leaders, we encourage everyone to support organizations that benefit women around the world. Visit our Hot Topic highlighting Women's History Month & Nonprofits Focused on Women & Girls. This curated list of 3- and 4-Star rated charities vetted by our analyst team, shares organizations promoting women's health, education, rights, and social services. Honor a woman you admire by making a donation in their name through our Giving Basket (learn how here).

This International Women’s Day, take a moment to recognize the women who have made strides throughout history, as well as those closest to you. Happy #IWD and remember to always #ChoosetoChallenge!

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