International Women's Day

International Women’s Day is observed around the world each year on 8 March by people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds.

It grew out of women’s struggle for better working conditions and the right to vote into a movement that sought equality and justice for all women.

More recently, it has become a time to celebrate change, to reflect on the progress that has been made, and to assert women’s political, social and economic rights.

The first acknowledged International Women’s Day was held in March 1911, after over 100 women from 17 countries unanimously decided to honour the women’s rights movement at the 1910 Second International Conference of Socialist Women in Copenhagen. Other countries followed in a similar fashion, by arranging events in February or March.

The first public event to take place in Australia was an International Women’s Day march. Held in Sydney, on 25 March 1928, the march featured a demand for equal pay. In 1929, rallies also took place in Sydney and Brisbane.

The women’s movement gained strengthened over time with International Women’s Day events spreading across Australia. International Women’s Day was first officially recognised by the Australian Government in 1974. The United Nations officially observed International Women’s Year in 1975. In 1977, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming 8 March to be United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace. Since then, four global United Nations women’s conferences have been held, two of which were attended by a delegation of Northern Territory women.

Territory women have regularly celebrated International Women’s Day since 1976. Events vary across the regions and often include exhibitions, marches, social gatherings, public events, speakers, films, poetry readings, song and dance.

The colours of green, white and violet are often associated with the women’s movement. These colours were first used by the English Suffragettes and symbolised Giving Women the Vote. Green is said to represent hope, white purity and, violet justice.

International Women’s Day 2021

The Northern Territory Office of Gender Equity and Diversity provides grants to support activities, projects and celebrations for International Women’s Day across the Northern Territory.

Grants of up to $3,000 are available to support International Women’s Day events.

Grants to support 2021 International Women’s Day open on 1 October and close on 11 November 2020.

Grants are available through Grants NT

A calendar of events will be made available soon for International Women's Day events happening in your area for 2021.  If you would like to include an event on the calendar, contact the Office of Gender Equity and Diversity.

Last updated: 09 November 2020

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