International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world on March 8 to recognise women for their achievements, to both highlight and work towards addressing barriers that continue to perpetuate gender inequality, and to reflect on the progress that has been made.

The very first International Women’s Day was held on March 19th, 1911, born from labour movements in Europe and North America. Meetings and protests were organised across Europe in the first year, with the largest street demonstration attracting 30,000 women! In 1913 the event was moved to March 8 and has been held on this day ever since. Australia’s first International Women’s Day was held in Sydney in 1928, organised by the Militant Women’s Movement, who called for equal pay for equal work, an 8-hour working day for shop girls, and paid leave. The next year the event spread to Brisbane and in 1931 marches were also held in Melbourne, which continue today.

The growing international women’s movement has helped make International Women’s Day a central point for action, to build support for the rights of women and their full participation in all walks of life. Supported by UN Women, a United Nations entity responsible for promoting women’s empowerment and gender equality around the globe, it is an occasion to review how far women have come in their struggle for equality, peace, and development, and an opportunity to unite, network, and mobilise for meaningful change.

The theme for International Women’s Day 2021 is “Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”, to celebrate the amazing efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future.

We hope you can join us in celebrating the phenomenal power that is womankind all over the world! Happy International Women’s Day, and happy puzzling!