International Women's Day 2020

Public and National Holidays around the world National Holiday in several countries

International Women's Day is celebrated on 8th March
The 2019 theme is "Think equal, build smart, innovate for change."

When is International Women's Day?

How long until Women's Day (observed)?
This holiday next takes place in 292 Days.
Dates of Women's Day
Year Weekday Date
2020 Monday
2019 Friday
2018 Thursday
2017 Wednesday
Who observes Women's Day?
Angola Angola Armenia Armenia
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan Belarus Belarus
Burkina Faso Burkina Faso Cambodia Cambodia
China China * Gabon Gabon
Georgia Georgia Germany Germany (regional)
Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau Kazakhstan Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan Lao Lao
Moldova Moldova Mongolia Mongolia
Mozambique Mozambique North Korea North Korea
Russia Russia Sierra Leone Sierra Leone
Tajikistan Tajikistan Tunisia Tunisia
Turkmenistan Turkmenistan Uganda Uganda
Ukraine Ukraine Uzbekistan Uzbekistan
Zambia Zambia
* Not a public holiday
The UN has declared 8 March to be a day to celebrate, recognise and remember women
The Gender Gap for Women's Days.

International Women's Day is celebrated on 8th March.

27 countries (mainly former Soviet republics) have adopted International Women's Day as a national holiday; and it is widely observed in several others.

In 2019, Berlin has become the first region within the European Union to mark Women's Day with a public holiday.

For most of the countries who observe this holiday, if it falls on a weekend, it will be moved to the following Monday. If it falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, several countries will bridge the holiday to the weekend by declaring an additional public holiday on the Monday or Friday - though often this is compensated for by making a Saturday a working day.

In China since 2014, women are entitled to a half day holiday for Women's Day. In Madagascar and Nepal, the day is also an official women-only holiday.

History of International Women's Day

In 1977, the United Nations declared 8 March as International Women's Day, a day each year when the world should celebrate, recognise and remember women and the accomplishments they have made to society. Each year has a theme:

This year's campaign theme is #BalanceforBetter, emphasizing the role played by the women for society and the important role we all play. Now it is time to do things to help make this world with better gender balance. From simple activities to worldwide action women are proving themselves. Now it is time to take this campaign seriously.

It is often said that the date chosen for International Women's Day marks a mass protest that took place in New York on 8 March 1857, when women from sewing and shoe factories demonstrated for the same rights as men. Men had recently won a 10 hour workday, but women had been overlooked in the legislation and left on a 16 hour workday. As as a result 8th March became a traditional day for regular demonstrations in the US and Europe.

However, recent reports have cast doubt on whether this event ever took place, with newspapers of the time not reporting any such march.

Given how the holiday began in Russia, a more plausible source for the date is 1917 when Russian women marched to protest for 'Bread and Peace' on the last Sunday in February (which was 8 March in the Gregorian calendar in use in the rest of Europe). This march contributed to the Czar abdicating four days later and the new government granting women the right to vote. It would be three years later, before women in the US had the same rights.

Women's Day in Russia

In Russia, Women's Day is a significant and popular holiday. Its source in the events of 1917 that were part of the Russian revolution meant it was a holiday that was promoted by the Soviet regime.

The day first became a national holiday in 1965.

It is traditional on this holiday to present women with gifts and flowers to express appreciation for their work, love and devotion. It can be regarded as the same as mixing up elements of Mother's Day combined with some aspects of Valentine's Day.

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