International Women’s Day: History, Significance, and How You Can Get Involved


  1. What is International Women’s Day?
  2. What is the theme for International Women’s Day 2023?
  3. How can students get involved with International Women’s Day?


Most students have heard of International Women’s Day, but not everyone knows the history and significance of IWD. In fact, IWD has been an important global celebration of women for over a century and has played an important part in the movement of female empowerment across the world. ♀️

Though women have achieved so much, we still have a long way to go before we’ll have complete gender equality – so let’s take a closer look at what International Women’s Day is all about, and get ready to celebrate IWD 2023 on 8th March!

What is International Women’s Day?

International Women's Day is marked on the 8th of March every year, and is a day for celebrating women and advocating for gender equality. Each year, the month of March is Women’s History Month, and IWD involves a large number of events raising awareness of a range of women’s issues. 

IWD has been celebrated for over a century, with the first International Women's Day taking place in 1911. The focus of IWD remains the same these days as it was over a hundred years ago – celebrating the achievements and advancement of women around the world, and raising awareness of issues that need to be addressed in order to achieve greater gender equality.  

IWD is a global celebration and a fantastic opportunity for people around the world to challenge gender stereotypes and bias and reflect on the role of women in society. A key focus for people campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights in education, since women and girls across the world are at a huge disadvantage when it comes to schooling. 👩‍🎓

While students in the UK may sometimes take their right to an education for granted, there are plenty of children and teenagers around the world who don’t have access to the schooling we’re given. In fact, data published by UNICEF shows that 129 million school-age girls around the world aren’t receiving an education – many of whom are living in countries affected by conflict. Girls and women across the world are held back by not getting access to basic rights such as healthcare and education, and an important part of IWD is to highlight these inequalities. 

Schools in the UK have recently started placing a higher emphasis on teaching gender identity in the classroom, which may foster great conversations and discussions regarding women’s issues, LGBTQ+ issues, diversity, body positivity and more. As a student, it’s a great idea for you to maintain an awareness of how gender is talked about at your school, and identify any issues of social inequality you may come across. ✔️

What is the theme for International Women’s Day 2023?

IWD has a different theme each year, and the theme for International Women’s Day 2023 is #EmbraceEquity. This theme is to "get the world talking about why equal opportunities aren't enough. People start from different places, so true inclusion and belonging require equitable action."

So what's the difference between equality and equity? Equality is when an individual or group are all given the exact same resources or opportunities as one another. However, equity recognises that not all people are the same and may come from very different circumstances. So it's best to allocate these resources and opportunities differently in a way that ensures each person gets what they need to reach an equal outcome. 

Those campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights believe we can all play a part in creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive world, a society in which the many and varied contributions of women are valued and celebrated. The 2023 IWD theme #EmbraceEquity speaks to the need for embrace true inclusion. 

How can you get involved with International Women’s Day?

There are many ways for pupils and students to get involved with International Women’s Day 2023. Most people advocating for social change emphasise the importance of collective campaigning and action. Individually, our voices aren’t easily heard – but there’s strength in numbers, and that’s the idea behind IWD and the many events that take place during Women’s History Month. 

The famous feminist, writer and activist Gloria Steinem once said, “The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights”. So if you’re passionate about women’s equality, join forces with women from all over the world and make International Women's Day your day too. There are plenty of free resources available if you’d like to get involved in IWD 2023, whether that involves putting on an event or raising awareness online. 

It’s never too early for children and teens to start learning about social justice and fighting for what they believe in. If you’d like to develop your understanding of gender equality and get different perspectives, talking things over with your friends or peers at school is a great way to get started. Books are also a fantastic way to learn more about gender issues and female achievements – check out our top book tips for teens for some great titles that’ll expand your horizons! 📚

We hope this article helps you learn a bit more about the history and significance of International Women’s Day, and possibly also inspires you to get involved with celebrating this important day for women around the world in your local community!

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