International Women's Day

8 March

In 2022, UNESCO joins its voice to that of the entire UN family by celebrating this International Women’s Day under the theme “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, recognizing the contribution of women and girls around the world who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all.

"This year, on International Women’s Day, I would like to applaud this new generation of young women – for their courage in speaking out, inspiring others and mobilizing their peers, for a more sustainable tomorrow."
UNESCO Director-General
Audrey Azoulay Director-General of UNESCO
A Girl Looks on Among Afghan Women Lining Up To Receive Relief Assistance, During The Holy Month of Ramadan in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.

What UNESCO does for gender equality

Global Priority Gender Equality

UNESCO believes that all forms of discrimination based on gender are violations of human rights.

Education and Gender Equality
Women Scientists
Water and Gender
Women’s role in promoting rights and social participation
Media Diversity and Gender Equality
Promoting the Safety of Women Journalists
Advancing gender equality in learning cities

History of International Women’s Day


In 1945, the Charter of the United Nations became the first international agreement to affirm the principle of equality between women and men. The UN celebrated its first official International Women's Day on 8 March during International Women’s Year in 1975. Two years later, in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.

International Women’s Day first emerged from the activities of labor movements at the turn of the twentieth century across North America and Europe. The first National Woman's Day was observed in the United States on February 28 1909, which the Socialist Party of America dedicated in honor of the 1908 garment workers' strike in New York where women protested against harsh working conditions. In 1917, women in Russia chose to protest and strike under the slogan "Bread and Peace" on the last Sunday in February (which fell on 8 March on the Gregorian calendar). Their movement ultimately led to the enactment of women’s suffrage in Russia.

International Women's Day is an occasion to celebrate the progress made towards achieving gender equality and women's empowerment but also to critically reflect on those accomplishments and strive for a greater momentum towards gender equality worldwide. It is a day to recognize the extraordinary acts of women and to stand together, as a united force, to advance gender equality around the world.

Resolution adopted by the General Assembly

Records of the General Conference, 20th session, Paris, 24 October to 28 November 1978, v. 1: Resolutions
Executive Board paper presenting a brief overview of the Director-General's preliminary proposals concerning the Draft Programme and budget for 1992-1993 (document 135 EX/5)


Resolution adopted by the General Assembly
UN Women Website
All International Days
Past Edition