Today is International Women’s Day, which commemorates both the gains made by women in the last century and the progress we still must make in order to reach full gender equality.
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The idea for International Women’s Day was born out of the second International Conference of Working Women, held in Copenhagen in the winter of 1910. German social leader Clara Zetkin proposed that conference attendees identify a target date each year to make renewed calls for better working conditions and social rights. The first International Women’s Day was celebrated the following year.
While the concept gained momentum among activists in the turbulent years around the First World War, it wasn’t until 1975 that International Women’s Day was recognized by the United Nations (UN). After interest in women’s and social issues declined in the latter half of the 20th century, the platform International Women’s Day was launched online to renew interest in 2001 – complete with yearly themes and ways individuals around the world can get involved.
The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day Commemorations is #BreakTheBias, which calls on individuals around the world to recognize and reverse behaviors that stem from gender bias within our own local systems. Individuals are invited to strike the “break the bias” pose – with arms crossed in the shape of an X – and share their photos online to show their commitment for change.
The platform also contains information for events around the world where you can get involved in person in your local communities, or online, both in the United States and around the world — today and every day.