International Women's day 2017: All you need to know

The first celebrations to mark international women's day took place on March 19, 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland

To call for gender equality, International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated every year on March 8, since 1913. The idea to dedicate this day to women was tabled by Clara Zetkin – leader of the ‘women’s office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany in 1910. Zetkin suggested that every country should celebrate women on one day of every year to push for their demands. Later, a conference of more than 100 women from 17 countries agreed to her suggestion and IWD was formed. The first celebrations to mark this day took place on March 19, 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland.

However, in 1913, it was decided to transfer IWD to March 8, and it has been celebrated on that day ever since. On this day women across the world come together to force the world to recognise gender inequalities and celebrate the achievements of women who have broken stereotypes.

The day has also been recognised as an official holiday in a number of countries, including Russia, Afghanistan, Nepal, Ukraine, Mongolia, Vietnam and China. However, it got the nod of the United Nations in 1975, and since then the UN has created a theme each year to celebrate the achievements of women and send a strong and powerful message on gender equality.

To call people around the globe to help forge a more inclusive, gender equal world, the UN theme for International Women’s Day 2017 is ‘Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030‘ with the hashtag is #BeBoldForChange. Change happens when we all put efforts for it.

Remember that every individual is a leader within his/her own sphere of influence. Thus, we all are capable of accelerating gender parity by taking bold pragmatic actions. So what are you waiting for? Get up and join hands with #BeBoldForChange.