International Women's Day

Have you ever heard about International Women's Day? Why do we need a day to celebrate just half the inhabitants of our planet? Find out about this special day by reading the text below. 


Do the preparation task first. Then read the article about International Women's Day 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 to celebrate the achievements of women all over the world. It started with a protest that took place in New York City in 1908 where women went out onto the streets to demand the right to vote, shorter working hours and better pay. Since then it has taken many forms and today it’s a global event that is supported by lots of charities, NGOs, governments and academic institutions. In some countries March 8 is an official holiday, but in most it’s a normal working day. 

Why do we need an International Women’s Day?

In today's world it may appear that women have all the same opportunities as men. If you watch the news you will see women astronauts, women prime ministers and women leaders in business. However, if you look at the statistics you realise there’s still a long way to go. The BBC did a report a few years ago that showed that in the UK women occupied only 30.9% of the most senior positions across a range of jobs in areas like politics, business and policing. So, although progress has been made since 1908, there is still a lot to do before we see an equal number of men and women in the top jobs and receiving equal pay.  

How is IWD celebrated in the UK?

A lot of special events take place in towns and cities all over the UK to celebrate International Women’s Day. There are exhibitions, theatre shows, talks, discussions, walking tours, films, workshops, fun runs and so much more. All the events are designed to celebrate the role of women in society and to make us all take a step back and think about the progress that has been made, but also about the changes that still need to take place to ensure the world is a fair and equal place for all its citizens. To find out what is happening in your country have a look on the events page of the International Women's Day website. 

Think globally and act locally

The message for women around the world is to ‘think globally and act locally’. This means to learn about some of the key issues that women face around the world and then to try to take action close to home. Emma Watson, the actress who played Hermione in the Harry Potter films, is a great example of someone who is doing something to raise awareness about the issues that women face globally. She has launched a campaign called HeForShe, which aims to get people talking at all levels about gender equality. The aim is to create a ‘gender-equal world’. The HeForShe campaign makes it very clear that it’s the role of men as well as women to make changes in all areas of their lives, both at work and in the family, to help make this possible. With the support of UN Women, the United Nations organisation to support women, Emma’s campaign is surely going to make a big impact.

The future

Can you imagine a future where there’s no need at all to even have an International Women’s Day? Where there is total equality for men and women? Hmmm … something to think about but perhaps in your lifetime this could happen!?

Useful websites:
International Women’s Day:
BBC report:


What do you think about International Women's Day? 

Personal online tutoring
EnglishScore Tutors is the British Council’s one-to-one tutoring platform for 13- to 17-year-olds.


Profile picture for user Cfvdv

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.
Profile picture for user Andrii

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?
Profile picture for user empty

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 .
Profile picture for user Youjiro

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 .
Profile picture for user SLMT

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.

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

I 'll give my mother,my grandmother,my sister presents
English courses near you