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Why do we celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8?

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International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 every year and is a focal point in the movement for women’s rights.

But why do we celebrate on March 8?

The UN began celebrating International Women’s Day in the International Women’s Year – 1975. In 1977, the UN General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for women’s rights and world peace.

In Australia, International Women’s Day has been informally celebrated since the early 1920s.

International Women’s Day rally, Melbourne 1975.

The first Australian IWD rally, organised by the Militant Women’s Movement of the Communist Party of Australia, took place on March 25, 1928 in the Sydney Domain.

IWD gained momentum in Australia around the time of the Second World War. Activists such as Jessie Street campaigned for women’s rights as workers because women at the time were often paid only 54 percent of men’s wages.

These days, International Women’s Day is marked in Australia with a diverse array of events including marches, rallies and fundraising events.

Source: SAGE.

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