Women’s History Month/International Women’s Day

8 March 2012

Women’s history month is celebrated in March each year, in the UK, and includes International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March. Numerous countries celebrate women’s days but this is an internationally recognised day celebrated in many countries throughout the world. In a number of countries IWD is a national holiday.


The origins of IWD are internationalist, socialist and feminist, it has been observed since the early 1900’s and is therefore also a 20 century creation. The first IWD was celebrated in 1911 after being voted for at the 1910 International Conference of Working Women.

During the International Year of the Woman, in 1975, the UN gave official recognition to IWD, and it is now also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International peace.

Women’s History Month is a way to increase the consciousness and the knowledge of women’s history. Taking one month in the year to remember and celebrate the contributions of notable and ordinary women and the impact they have had on the way we live our lives. To look to the future and campaign for the improvements needed in women’s rights, both in this country and abroad. In the hope that one day it will be impossible to teach or learn history without remembering the contributions of these women and hopeful our own small part.

Although great strides have been made women are still struggling for equality. While we wish to celebrate the achievements that have been made we also want to look to the future and how we can achieve greater equality. With that in mind the theme for this years IWD is “Connecting girls, inspiring futures”


For further information and ideas for things to do for your event, and some resources to help, here are a few websites to get you started:

You can also contact members of the GWAC:

Sara Laws, Chair – sara.laws@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk
Clara Harmer, Vice Chair – clara.l.harmer@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk


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