International Women's Day 2017: Be Bold for Change

March 08, 2017

Written by: Natalie Lim

Happy 106th International Women's Day! According to the official website, March 8 is a "global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity." International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated around the world, and although the specific celebrations may vary from country to country, the spirit is always the same - one of appreciation for the women that have brought us this far, celebration for how far we've come, and acknowledgement that we still have a long way to go.

This year, the theme for IWD is "Be Bold for Change," and we thought that it would be fun to spotlight events from around the globe, organized by women who are committing to be bold for change, together. 


The land down under has some exciting events planned for IWD 2017, including a "Women Without Waste" event aimed at teaching women about reusable sanitary items, a talk featuring Nicola Scott (the illustrator of DC Comics' Wonder Woman), and multiple luncheons across Australia hosted by the UN Women National Committee Australia. 


Canada has adopted its own theme for IWD 2017: #EqualityMatters. In order to promote this theme, Status of Women Canada has created some fun cartoon "mythbusters" that you're encouraged to share on social media - you can find those here. Besides that, a number of events surrounding women and women's equality are being planned across the country! These include a Vancouver concert that's fundraising for the WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre, a potluck celebration hosted by the Women's Centre of Calgary, and a Rally for Education in Ottawa organized by ONE Carleton. 

United Kingdom

The UK is sharing the IWD love with events all across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. There are lots of local events to be enjoyed, like Shoreline of Infinity's Women in Science Fiction night or an afternoon of cake and coffee put on by Barrow-in-Furness' Women's Community Matters group. Movie theatres across the UK are also hosting showings of Embrace, a documentary about body positivity and redefining what it means to be beautiful. 


All over the world this year, the Vital Voices Global Leadership Network is celebrating IWD 2017 with the Global Mentoring Walk. This walk, which occurred in 59 countries in 2016, is intended to connect a generation of aspiring leaders to established women leaders who can mentor them, in hopes of fostering relationships that will lead to stronger communities and more opportunities for women. This year, Global Mentoring Walks are being planned in Haiti, Brazil, Cameroon, New Zealand, Uganda, India, Serbia, and Mexico, just to name a few of the countries! International Women's Day is also an official holiday in countries such as Afghanistan, Belarus, Georgia, Mongolia, Russia, and Zambia. 

It's so exciting to see people around the world come together like this in celebration of women, and I wish that I could attend every single one of these events! Still, even if you're not in any of the countries highlighted here, we know there are some amazing events happening in your area, and however you choose to celebrate IWD 2017, we hope you have a blast doing it. 

How are you celebrating International Women's Day? You can let us know on Twitter or Facebook, and make sure to tweet using the hashtag #IWD2017 to join the conversation! If you want to learn more about International Women's Day, you can visit the official page here for resources, event listings, and more.