International Women's Day

Women's rights march

March 8 is International Women's Day. It's a time to celebrate women's achievements, demand equality and fight for basic rights and freedoms.


Do the preparation task first. Then read the article and do the exercises to check your understanding. 

What is International Women's Day?

International Women's Day takes place every year on 8 March. It is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women and to create positive change for women and girls. All around the world, people are demanding gender equality and protesting about situations where women do not have basic rights and freedoms. International Women's Day is a time to do this work together. 

How did International Women's Day start?

International Women's Day started with a protest that took place in New York City in 1908. Fifteen thousand women went out onto the streets to demand equal rights and better working conditions. In particular, they wanted shorter working hours, better pay and the right to vote. 

At the International Conference of Working Women in Denmark in 1910, a woman called Clara Zetkin proposed the idea of an international day for women. Everyone agreed it was a good idea to use the same day every year to take action for women's rights. The first International Women's Day happened the following year, in 1911. 

Why do we need an International Women's Day?

People participate in International Women's Day in many different ways and for many different reasons. But a common goal is gender equality.

In today's world it may appear that women have all the same opportunities as men. But if you look at the statistics worldwide, talk to women and girls around you or simply live in the world as a woman, you see this is not true. 

There are many examples of women and girls having a lower position in society than men and boys. They have fewer opportunities and they suffer specific injustices and problems because they are women. Here are some examples. Did you know that, around the world:

  • teenage girls aged 10 to 14 are twice as likely to do more than 21 hours a week of housework as boys of the same age
  • nearly a quarter of teenage girls aged 15 to 19 are not in school, compared to only 13 per cent of boys
  • less than half of the world's countries offer girls and boys equal access to education
  • many more girls than boys are married while they are still children
  • child marriage often means stopping school, getting pregnant early, isolation and an increased risk of violence
  • one in five teenage girls have experienced violence from their partner?

Many people believe situations of gender inequality like these can and should be changed.

What happens on International Women's Day?

On 8 March there are protests and other events to demand equal rights for women. You can find marches, talks, workshops, film and music events and more, near you or online. Many people wear purple, a colour worn by women who campaigned for women's right to vote. In some countries, children and men give presents, flowers or cards to their mothers, partners, sisters or other women they know. 

The future

There is still a lot of work to be done for gender equality. Sometimes we lose important rights and go backwards with the progress we have made. But women's movements all over the world are still fighting for equality, and new generations are joining them. The people marching in the streets for equal rights are often young women and their friends. Teenagers are organising and campaigning, telling the world how we should think, behave and treat one another. When it comes to gender equality, what kind of world do you want to live in?


What positive changes for gender equality do you want to see?

Average: 3.2 (11 votes)
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Submitted by Popberry on Thu, 03/09/2023 - 01:55

In my country we do not “celebrate” IWD #M8. There’s so much pain involved to make it appear as a Every year we march and walk to remember those that we’ve lost through violence, discrimination, and injustice. Its a solemn commemoration, a remembrance. Walking along with the survivors and the families is heartbreaking, but also brings the need to move ahead and do something about it.

Submitted by JerryT on Sun, 03/05/2023 - 08:33

There are many positive changes for gender equality that can be made, including:

-Eliminating discrimination against women in all areas of life
-Allowing women to own property, vote, and serve in public office
-Providing women with equal pay and opportunities
-Making it easier for women to get abortions
-Providing more opportunities for women to learn about and participate in the workforce

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Submitted by Cfvdv on Tue, 06/08/2021 - 16:16

International Women's Day is a very good day to show respect for women. It's a day when we should show more respect for women... but not just one day, but every day we should show respect for them.

Submitted by Arivelde on Wed, 05/12/2021 - 16:02

I thik that International Women's Day is a really good idea for all the woman around the world to be rememberd and respected, but not just in one day, but to be rememberd always, every day, that is how it should be, but unfortunately the reality is diferent, and that is why those campains and protests are so inportant, they try to make a diference in the world, try to make it better for everyone.
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Submitted by Andrii on Thu, 07/16/2020 - 18:13

I think International Women's Day is a good idea to show, that women are equal as men.

Submitted by Mcbo_17 on Tue, 03/24/2020 - 18:31

I think that International Women's Day is a day for all of us to realize the situations that are happening around us and to learn about some of the key problems that women face on a daily basis and then be able to take action. Women are women because of the willpower within them.

Submitted by Vzlaa_ on Tue, 03/24/2020 - 18:17

very good the article, i did not know that it had started with a protest. The world has progressed (female astronauts, female ministers, and female business leaders). However, there is still much to do, but I think it is something that we will overcome International Women's Day should be every day!

Submitted by Vzlaa_ on Sun, 03/22/2020 - 00:04

Very good the article ! The internacional womens day should be every day!

Submitted by martagarcia on Sun, 02/09/2020 - 16:41

I have read this article in English. I find it very interesting. From Spain I have also read in this page that feminist women wear purple or violet clothes, but I have also read that they used to wear three colors long time ago to claim feminism: violet, green and white as we can see in the movie "Suffragists" . What do you think about?
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Submitted by empty on Sat, 07/06/2019 - 06:19

World without female people could be a disaster and I think women deserve this day .
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Submitted by Youjiro on Sun, 02/17/2019 - 10:24

International Women's Day makes more attention for Women.Nowadays Women appear social place,We aware women treat same way.but some old system protect women that want to toward business or politics. Women who active in social place is getting better and make attention.I hope It well be better place all over the world .
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Submitted by SLMT on Mon, 09/17/2018 - 04:51

I think International Women Day is the one of the Must-to have Days to realize How women are important in our lives.Until these global days,breaking the glass ceiling is still true for women.Even on developed countries, women have to face these issue.U can know this problem easily by looking sports.Women players never get high pays as much as men players get.For example, in tennis, even if u win the tournament, the prize money for men are higher than the one for women.At professional workplace, all of the higher places are occupied by men, even though there are a lot of talented, professional and outstanding women.In 21st century, there are a lot of women who can't go to school because of their religion, family problems and old stereotypes.In some countries, women are treated as low level and they don't deserve to stay equal as men. Women are used as child production factory. Women are treated unequally around the world. While we are attending schools, working among men , some of the women from other side of the world are facing cruel problems. That’s why we need to let them know women are not a low creature.They are as high as Men.All human beings are equal.
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Submitted by Popberry on Thu, 03/09/2023 - 02:06

Yes, I feel you. Being a woman is still a minority. By 2020, 5 women out of 5 between 11 to 50 years old, were or will be in the future 2 years, a victim on harrasment. Even in the most developed countries, women are paid unequally. And what about the pink tax? They say that every product for lasses, even the basic ones, deserve an extra amount since they are considered ‘luxury products’.

In reply to by SLMT

Submitted by Athony on Wed, 03/07/2018 - 15:52

I 'll give my mother,my grandmother,my sister presents
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