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Each year around the world, International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. Thousands of events occur not just on this day but throughout March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.
Civil society organisations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women's groups, faith organisations, corporations and the media celebrate the day in a variety of ways. Many groups around the world choose different themes each year relevant to global and local gender issues.
Over time and distance, the equal rights of women have progressed. IWD celebrates the achievements of women while remaining vigilant and tenacious for further sustainable change. There is global momentum for championing women's equality.
"The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum" is the 2013 theme of the www.internationalwomensday.com website. Last year the 2012 theme was Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures which supported the United Nation's (UN) first International Day of the Girl celebrated on 11 October 2012.
The UN declares an International Women's Day theme and for 2013 it is “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women”. In 2012 it was "Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty". Many organisations develop International Women's Day themes relevant to their local contexts. For example, the European Parliament's 2012 theme was "Equal pay for work of equal value".
International Women's Day has been observed since in the early 1900's, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialised world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.
* More on International Women's Day: http://www.internationalwomensday.com/
* IWD on Ekklesia: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/InternationalWomensDayTweet