Posted March 8th 2018 | Posted by Plamena Zahova

‘International women’s day is a day of recognition and celebration of women globally. It’s one day of the year that recognises the value that women bring to individual communities and collectively to the world, and showcases the incredible struggles of women who have paved the way for others.’ – Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, founder of the Women in Leadership publication and co-organiser of Women’s March London

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The first official International Women’s Day was celebrated on March 19, 1911 in Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and Denmark, and was the direct result of the 1910 International Conference of Working Women. At the conference in Copenhagen, a German woman named Clara Zetkin proposed the idea. The proposal was unanimously approved by the more than 100 women in attendance.  The March 19 date was chosen because it commemorated the day that the Prussian king promised to introduce votes for women in 1848. The promise gave hope for equality but it was a promise that he failed to keep. In 1913, International Women’s Day was officially changed to March 8.

International Women’s Day is celebrated in countries all around the world, including the United Kingdom, Russia, China, Japan, Brazil, and the United Arab Emirates. Many countries have their own associated traditions. For example, In Italy, women are given bouquets of yellow mimosa flowers. International Women’s Day is not affiliated with any one group but brings together governments, women’s organisations, corporations and charities through talks, rallies, networking events, conferences and marches.

“It’s important that people around the globe continue to galvanise action for the advancement of women,” Mos-Shogbamimu notes. “To make organisations, corporations, businesses and communities accountable for how far they’ve gone and how far they’re going to promote progress.”

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Female Powerhouses

These brave, powerful and all-around amazing women inspire us every day

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Nigerian award-winning novelist may not be a name at the forefront of our minds, but her words could easily be recited. Having her TEDx speech ‘We should all be feminists’ featured in Beyonce’s 2013 hit ‘Flawless’ and printed across the covetable white T-shirts from Dior’s SS17 collection left many other women around me feeling empowered and understood. Moving from Nigeria and graduating from university with a degree in Creative Writing led her on to write many critically acclaimed novels (‘Americanah’ being a focal point for postmodernist African literature). Her work portrays many dimensions of discrimination from race to sexism due to her experiences of both.

Amal Clooney

Amal Clooney

Human-rights lawyer Amal Clooney is unmistakably one of the most inspirational women of the 21st century. ‘The worst thing that we can do as women is not stand up for each other. And this is something that we can practice every day no matter where we are or what we do. Because if we are united, there is no limit to what we can do,’ she said in a moving speech inspiring women to stand up for each other.

Emma Watson

Emma Watson

Emma Watson won us over after she first gave that instantly viral speech on gender equality at the United Nations in 2014 proudly declaring herself a feminist and asking ‘How can we affect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation?’ From then on, she hasn’t stopped doing her best to bring awareness to the cause with her HeForShe campaign, her feminist book club, and her thoughtful interviews, all which prove that feminism can be fashionable.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg


Ruth Bader Ginsburg chose a difficult path into the women’s movement, fighting out issues like equal pay in the (often-male-dominated) courts. In the process, she laid the legal framework for women’s rights. Every one of us who wants to be treated equally by our employers and our government officials owes so much to her

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