What you need to know to prepare for International Women’s Day

This Sunday, March 8, is International Women’s Day. And you should celebrate! Why? How? What is this anyway? No worries, we’ve got you covered.

  • What Is It? A day celebrated across the world as a way to celebrate the political, social, and economic achievements of women.
  • Where Did It Come From?  In the 1900s, women around the world were pushing for voting rights, and several national women’s days popped up. (In the US, there was one on the last weekend of February) In 1910, a woman named Clara Zetkin made a proposal at the second International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen: Why not have a global women’s day every year celebrated in every country so that women everywhere can press for equal rights. One hundred women from seventeen countries agreed, and thus, the holiday was born. Every year, countries celebrate with hundreds of events, from craft markets to marches to art shows to networking events.
  • Why Does It Matter? Women have come a long way in the hundred years since the day was first established but, believe us, there’s a long way still to go. Women still earn 77 cents to every dollar men make, and have to fight around the world for the same opportunities men have. The day is a good reminder of just how much we’ve accomplished, and what things we still have to work on.
  • What’s With the Purple? The color scheme of purple, white, and green was first adopted in 1908 by the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in Great Britain to support British Suffragettes. Purple stands for justice and dignity, and women wear purple today to symbolize their solidarity. Ribbons, hair, pants, whatever purple you feel like. Throughout the month of March, groups support International Women’s Day by showing their purple pride and posting photos under the #PaintItPurple tag.
  • What’s With the Theme? The 2015 theme of International Women’s Day is “Make It Happen,” a way of setting goals for women in the coming year. More women in senior leadership goals, for example, or more women in science and engineering.
  • How Can I Participate? All kinds of ways! There are thousands of events thrown by schools, governments, clubs, charities, and other organizations. Want to find them and attend one? Check out the website for International Women’s Day. Or join in on social media with the tags #MakeItHappen, #womensday, #IWD2015, or #internationalwomensday. And check back at Hello Giggles on Sunday to see how we’re celebrating this awesome day!