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#BreakTheBias – International Women’s Day 2022

Updated: Mar 4

International Woman’s Day dates back to the early 1900’s when great unrest was occurring amongst women. In 1908 women’s oppression and inequality spurred 15,000 women to march through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. On February 28, 1909 the Socialist Party of America declared it to be National Woman’s Day and was celebrated on the last Sunday of February until 1913. ll

In 1910 the second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen where 100 women from 17 countries attended. Clara Zetkin of Germany tabled that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day – Women’s Day – to press for their demands. With unanimous approval International Women’s Day was first honoured on March 19, 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland where more than one million women and men attended IWD rallies. It was agreed to change it to March 8th in 1914.

The United Nations celebrated the first IWD in 1975 which observed Women’s Rights and International Peace. Evolution of adding a theme to the yearly events started in 1996 with the first theme being “Celebrating the past, Planning for the Future”.

By the new millennium, there was little traction on IWD and because gender parity had still not been achieved in 2001 the platform was launched. This website has grown to provide guidance and resources but also makes visible the achievements of woman while calling for gender parity.

In 2011 the 100th year of IWD, Barack Obama proclaimed March 2011 “Woman’s History Month” and calling all Americans to reflect on the extraordinary accomplishments of women in shaping the country’s history.

2022 and beyond, the world has seen significant changes and an attitude shift. More women are in the board room, greater equality in legislative rights, and women have become impressive role models in every aspect of life. There is still work to be done, but with many countries making March 8th a national holiday it has seen traditions of men honouring their mothers, grandmothers, wives, girlfriends, sisters and colleagues with flowers and small gifts.

This year the theme is “#BreakTheBias”. A challenged world is an alerted world. We are all responsible for our thoughts and actions. We can choose to challenge gender bias and inequality and we can CELEBRATE women’s achievements. Let’s make it happen:

  • Have a world with gender equality

  • A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination

  • A world that is equitable, diverse and inclusive

  • A world where difference is celebrated and valued

  • Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias

    • In communities

    • At work

    • In schools

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