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International Women’s Day 2020: Everything You Need to Know

Celebrated on March 8 every year, the International Women’s Day was first proposed by Clara Zetkin at the 1910 International Socialist Woman’s Conference. The day was first celebrated in 1975 and in 1977, the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim the day to be the UN Day for women’s rights and world peace.

The first theme adopted by the UN in 1996 was ‘Celebrating the past, Planning for the Future’. In 2019, the UN theme for International Women’s Day was, ‘Think equal, build smart, innovate for change’.


This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is ‘I am Generation Equality: Realizing women’s Rights.’

According to the UN, the Generation Equality campaign aims to bring together people of every gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion, and country to facilitate awareness and create gender-equality around the world.


In her statement for International Women’s Day 2020, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka highlighted the year for gender equality and called on everyone to tackle the persistent barriers against gender equality.

She went on to add that there has been 38 per cent drop in ratio of maternal deaths since 2000 and 131 countries have made legal reforms to support gender equality and address discrimination.

The UN Women Executive Director, however, said no country has achieved gender equality.

How is it celebrated

Twenty-seven countries, including Afghanistan, Belarus, China (for women only), Mongolia, Nepal and Russia, consider the day to be an official holiday. In France, the day is celebrated as Journée internationale des femmes, where men gift yellow mimosas to women.