First celebrated in 1911, International Women's day is a global day, celebrating the achievements of women in all forms, from political and economic to social and cultural. The day itself started in New York City in 1908 when over 15,000 women took to the streets to campaign for shorter working hours, better pay and voting rights. The following year, the first National Women's day was celebrated in the US. It was in 1910 that the idea to make it an international celebration was raised at the International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen. There were 100 women from 17 countries present, who unanimously agreed. The United Nations started celebrating the day in 1975 with the first theme being 'Celebrating the past, Planning the Future' in 1996.
This year's theme is #ChooseToChallenge and encourages us all to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. Despite the fact that today, there is more gender equality than ever before, the International Women's Day website states that there is still 'Urgent work to do'. Change comes from challenge and that's what we are all being encouraged to do.
Today is the perfect day to reflect on the strong women in your life. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.