The History, Significance, and 2024 Theme of International Women’s Day: 

A Call to Invest in Women and Accelerate Progress

International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated globally on March 8, every year, focusing on honoring women’s achievements across various fields, advocating for gender equality, and raising awareness about issues affecting women worldwide. The origins of IWD can be traced back to the early 20th century, rooted in the labor movements in North America and Europe.

The first National Woman’s Day was observed in the United States on February 28, 1909, organized by the Socialist Party of America in remembrance of the 1908 garment workers’ strike in New York, where women protested against their working conditions. In 1910, at the International Socialist Women’s Conference in Copenhagen, Clara Zetkin proposed the idea of an international day for women to promote equal rights, including suffrage. The proposal was met with unanimous approval, and as a result, International Women’s Day was first celebrated in 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland on March 19, with rallies and organized meetings advocating for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, hold public office, and end discrimination.

However, it was not until 1975, during International Women’s Year, that the United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8th. Since then, IWD has grown in scope and recognition, becoming a day of advocacy for gender parity and women’s rights. The day is marked by a range of activities including marches, talks, conferences, and cultural events, with different themes each year to highlight specific areas of concern. Governments, women’s organizations, corporations, and charities around the world observe the day.

IWD is not only a day to celebrate the remarkable achievements of women in various fields but also an important reminder of the ongoing struggles for gender equality and the significant work that remains to be done. This year, as we commemorate International Women’s Day (IWD) with the theme: “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress,” we embrace the challenge to make this celebration resonate beyond just words. The United Nations has highlighted an urgent need to close a $360 billion annual funding gap in gender equality measures by 2030. 

DDI joins this global call to action, aligning with our mission to foster a society where equitable opportunities for self-actualization through economic empowerment and sustainable livelihoods are available to all.

Join DDI in commemorating International Women’s Day 2024 as part of our unified global journey towards a future where investing in women transcends being merely an ideal and becomes a universal standard. Together, we are committed to driving forward progress towards a world where gender equality is intrinsically integrated into the essence of our societies. This occasion stands as a potent call to action, urging us to expedite gender parity and empower women and girls worldwide.