International Women’s Day (IWD), which recognizes the work and achievements of women worldwide, is celebrated Wednesday.
The day also calls for attention and action to help push society towards gender equality. Women celebrate and march worldwide, including Aleppo (see video), Iran, India and the U.S.
This year’s theme is #BeBoldForChange.
The theme calls for men and women around the world to voice their concerns of gender exclusion and help promote gender parity in their day to day lives.
Similar to A Day Without Immigrants, women in the United States will participate in A Day Without Women on IWD. The strike aims to highlight the contributions women make to the economy and the impact they have on society despite discrimination, inequality and harassment.
Alexandria, Virginia, officially closed its public schools March 8, expecting most of their staff and faculty to participate in A Day Without Women. More than 300 faculty and staff have requested leave for the day.
City schools in Chapel Hill-Carrboro, North Carolina will also close for the day, citing a lack of staff to run the schools in the district.
College campuses in the U.S. have created events and celebrations in recognition of International Women’s Day.
A silent auction will take place at Indiana State University on International Women’s Day to fund the international education program, She’s The First, which offers “scholarships to girls in low-income countries, fostering first-generation graduates and cultivating the next generation of global leaders.”
That auction is hosted by the International Student Leadership Council.
The Women 4 Women Student Board from University of Louisville, Kentucky, is holding a one day Cultural Awareness Event in recognition of IWD. The day’s event seeks to raise awareness of the cultural diversity on campus while celebrating the empowerment of women. The event will include interactive workshops, art, performances, free food and henna.
Ohio University’s Women’s Center is celebrating IWD by hosting The International Women’s Day Festival on Sunday, March 19. The event will provide “an opportunity for the campus community to highlight women’s and girl’s achievements, to reflect on women’s status today, and to imagine a future where all women are valued as local, national, and global citizens,” according to Ohio University.
IWD was first internationally recognized in 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland and has spread worldwide. IWD is officially recognized in over 25 countries.