Building peace in the minds of men and women

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.

MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL

"on International Women’s Day, UNESCO is deeply concerned at the devasting escalation of violence in Ukraine, which threatens the safety and protection of women and girls"

— Communiqué on Women and Girls in Ukraine

Read the complete message in English | Français
 

"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."

— Audrey Azoulay, Director-General, on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2022

Download the complete message in PDF format
English | Français | Español | Русский | العربية | 中文
 

UNESCO-led events around the world throughout the month of March

07/03New podcast: Women in the Ocean Decade
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
07/03Press briefing:  Equality today for a sustainbale future
UNESCO Yaoundé Office
07/03Webinar:  Femina Vox
Under the patronage of UNESCO
08/03New publication: UNESCO in Action for Gender Equality 2020-2021
UNESCO Division for Gender Equality
08/03Instagram live with Jacqueline Uku,
Co-chair, Global Ocean Science Report
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
08/03New publication: Supporting women in higher education in Eastern Africa
UNESCO Harare Office and IESALC
08/03Webinar: WSIS TalkX: International Women's Day
With the participation of UNESCO Communication Sector
08/03New project : Transformer les MEN’talités
UNESCO Office in Rabat
09/03New toolkit for Eastern and Southern Africa:  Connect with Respect  
UNESCO Harare Office
11/03Webinar:  GIZ Gender Week 2022 
UNESCO Communication Sector
16/03Webinar: Positively, Men: Inspiring engagement for gender equality
UNESCO Division for Gender Equality
22/03Webinar: Women and youth at the frontlines of climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response. Register here.
UNESCO Social Sciences Sector
23/03Webinar: Fit for Life: Sport powering Gender Equality
UNESCO Social Sciences Sector

 

Support for Afghan Women and Girls

UNESCO: 

UNESCO Kabul Office stands committed to contributing to women`s empowerment in Afghanistan and building future generations of leaders for gender equality

Read the full message here

 

Member States Joint Statement:

"Over the past 20 years, women and girls across Afghanistan have made visible gains in all spheres of public life, including in the fields of education, media, and communication. Today these achievements are rapidly being reversed."

Read the Member States Joint Statement here.

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.