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Inclusive Employers is the UK’s first and leading membership organisation for employers looking to build inclusive workplaces.

What is International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day is a united day of celebration to focus on women’s history, the struggles women have been through and how women are still overcoming barriers across the world.

When is International Women’s Day?

Each year, the day is globally celebrated on the March 8th.

When did International Women’s Day start?

Although the day has gained prominence in recent years because of things such as the #MeToo movement, the history of International Women’s Day dates back to the early 1900s.

As far as we know, the first “National Woman’s Day” was observed in the United States on February 28th, 1909. The day was inspired by the labour movement in 1908, when 15,000 female garment workers went on strike in New York City in protest of poor working conditions. The event was organised by a Ukrainian suffragist named Clara Lemlich.

After a German women’s rights activist, Clare Zetkin, proposed it at an International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen in 1910, the day became internationally recognised. On March 19th, 1911, the day was declared an international celebration for the first time.

It wasn’t until 1996 that themes were assigned to the day, with the first being “Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future.” Since then, the dates have changed, but it is now always celebrated on March 8th.

Why do we need an International Women’s Day?

You may be wondering why you should celebrate International Women’s Day. Well, that’s because although a lot has changed for women, we still need the day to celebrate women’s achievements and recognise that we need to take further action towards gender parity.

All over the world, the rights women have are different. International Women’s Day stands for issues on a global scale. The day raises awareness, unites the world and gives women a voice.

What is the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day?

The International Women’s Day theme for 2024 is #InspireInclusion.

The goal of this theme is to inspire everyone to come together collectively to make the world more inclusive for women and a sense of belonging, relevance and empowerment.

An office worker making the heart symbol with their hands

To participate in the campaign, International Women’s Day is encouraging everyone to take a photograph of themselves making the heart sign with their hands and post it on social media using the #Inspireinclusion hashtag.

How to celebrate International Women’s Day

There are plenty of ways to celebrate International Women’s Day this year. Take a look at the suggestions below to start the conversation and celebrate the day.


To help plan your activities for International Women’s day in the workplace, Inclusive Employer Members can download our International Women’s Day guide.

The International Women’s Day website also has a selection of resources for you to choose from. You can use these resources to plan International Women’s Day activities and effectively raise awareness.

Share knowledge

Undertake some research and find some International Women’s Day facts to share with those around you. Whether you have a story of your own to tell or have some useful information, it will benefit others to hear more about the day and why it happens.

Consider what International Women’s Day means to you

Consider what you want the day to mean to you. Recognise why you want to spread the message and why you want to be a part of it. The fact that you’re reading this is a great place to start when it comes to making a difference; small steps like these can have the greatest impact.

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