8 March: International Women’s Day

8 March 2021

What is International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day takes place every year on 8 March to celebrate the achievements of women all over the world. It started with a protest that took place in New York City in 1908 where women went out onto the streets to demand the right to vote, shorter working hours and better pay. Since then it has taken many forms and today it’s a global event that is supported by lots of charities, NGOs, governments and academic institutions. In some countries March 8 is an official holiday, but in most it’s a normal working day. 

Why do we need an International Women’s Day?

In today’s world it may appear that women have all the same opportunities as men. If you watch the news you will see women astronauts, women prime ministers and women leaders in business. However, if you look at the statistics you realise there’s still a long way to go. The BBC did a report a few years ago that showed that in the UK women occupied only 30.9% of the most senior positions across a range of jobs in areas like politics, business and policing. So, although progress has been made since 1908, there is still a lot to do before we see an equal number of men and women in the top jobs and receiving equal pay.  

How is IWD celebrated ?

A lot of special events take place in towns and cities all over the world to celebrate International Women’s Day. There are exhibitions, theatre shows, talks, discussions, walking tours, films, workshops, fun runs and so much more. All the events are designed to celebrate the role of women in society and to make us all take a step back and think about the progress that has been made, but also about the changes that still need to take place to ensure the world is a fair and equal place for all its citizens.

Each year, Dar Al Amal, Foyer’s women’s emancipation house, organizes a big party to celebrate all the women! This year, since a big celebration is not yet possible, we replaced it by a Big Digital Quiz (in French and in Dutch) on Dar Al Amal’s Facebook page and Instagram account. Fun prizes can be won! We wish you all a wonderful International Women’s Day!