Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico - Observed every year on March 8th since the early 1900s, International Women's Day is a worldwide event that celebrates women's achievements - from political to social - while calling for gender equality. It is not affiliated with any one group, but brings together governments, women's organizations and charities.
The campaign's original aim - to achieve full gender equality for women the world - has still not been realized. A gender pay gap persists across the globe and women are still not present in equal numbers in business or politics. Figures show that globally, women's education, health and violence towards women is still worse than that of men.
"The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights," says world-renowned feminist, journalist and social and political activist Gloria Steinem.
This year, IWD comes on the heels of unprecedented global movement for women's rights, equality and justice. Sexual harassment, violence and discrimination against women has captured headlines and public discourse, propelled by a rising determination for change.
People around the world are mobilizing for a future that is more equal. This has taken the form of global marches and campaigns, including #MeToo in the United States of America and its counterparts in other countries, protesting against sexual harassment and violence, such as #YoTambien in Mexico, Spain, South America and beyond, #QuellaVoltaChe in Italy, #BalanceTonPorc in France and #Ana_kaman in the Arab States; "Ni Una Menos" ('not one less'), a campaign against femicide that originated in Argentina; and many others, on important issues ranging from equal pay to women's political representation.
The theme for IWD 2018 is #PressforProgress, a nod to the growing global movement of advocacy, activism and support surrounding gender parity and sexism. It is also an opportunity to transform this momentum into action, to empower women in all settings, rural and urban, and celebrate the activists who are working relentlessly to claim women's rights and realize their full potential.
According to a 2017 report by the World Economic Forum, it could still take another 100 years before the global equality gap between men and women disappears entirely. On March 8, join activists around the world to seize the moment, take action and transform women's lives everywhere. The time is NOW.For more information, visit internationalwomensday.com.