Women’s Influence on the World

A century on the celebration of Women’s Influence on the World remains strong.

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, and future. In some countries like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, IWD is a national holiday. This year sees the Global Centenary of IWD with the first event run in 1911 when more than one million women and men attended rallies.

International Women’s Day has been evolved since the early 1900’s, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. Today, women are openly celebrated for their value to influence positive change and contribute to the betterment of people and the planet, marked by changes in perspective, politics and position of power.

With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women’s visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women’s education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men.

However, great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family, women have real choices. And so the tone and nature of IWD has, for the past few years, moved from being a reminder about the negatives to a celebration of the positives.

Annually on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements.

A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women’s craft markets, theatre performances, fashion parades and more.

Many global corporations have also started to more actively support IWD by running their own internal events and through supporting external ones. For example, on 8 March search engine and media giant Google changes its search logo embedding it with further tribute. Year on year IWD is certainly increasing in status. The United States even designates the whole month of March as ‘Women’s History Month’. Globally there are many very large scale highly organized IWD events.

So make a difference, think globally and act locally. Make everyday International Women’s Day. Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.

The International Women’s Day website is a global hub for sharing International Women’s Day news, events and resources. It provides a free service to women and organisations around the world wanting to share and promote their IWD activity, videos, opinions and ideas. Please feel free to submit gender-related items for the site that you consider relevant and useful.

Visit IWD online to learn what women around the world are capable of.

View Women of Our Time twentieth-century photographs from the National Portrait Gallery.

Read Women Lead the Way a book that artfully combines advocacy, research, and tactical guidance to help readers wedge the door open and bring more women through and up. 

Drawing on her extraordinarily diverse background as a consultant, organizer, and diplomat, Tarr-Whelan offers a women-led strategy for change and a complete set of practical road-tested tools readers can use to become powerful partners in creating a better future in a rapidly changing world.

Closing the leadership gap is a win for everyone—it brings in new ideas, creates a more balanced and productive work environment, a revitalized social compact and demonstrable positive effects on the bottom line in business and government.

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Inga Yandell
Explorer and photo-journalist, passionate about nature, culture and travel. Combining science and conservation with investigative journalism to provide educational resources and a platform for science exploration.
Inga Yandell

Latest posts by Inga Yandell (see all)

Inga Yandell

Inga Yandell

Explorer and photo-journalist, passionate about nature, culture and travel. Combining science and conservation with investigative journalism to provide educational resources and a platform for science exploration.