International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day (IWD) takes place on 8 March every year and celebrates the movement for women’s rights.

The earliest known celebration of women was on 28 February 1909 in New York City and was called “National Women’s Day”. Two years later, the first IWD was celebrated in some European countries. Nowadays it’s celebrated by millions across the world.

International Women’s Day is a national holiday in many countries, including Russia where the sales of flowers doubles during the three or four days around 8 March.

In China, many women are given a half-day off work on 8 March although many employers don’t always pass the half-day on to their female employees.

In the US, the month of March is Women’s History Month.  Every year the president makes a proclamation to honour the achievements of American women.

This year will be different because of coronavirus. More virtual events will take place around the world.

The theme for 2021 is #ChooseToChallenge. The theme highlights the importance of challenging prejudice.  

The United Nations also has a 2021 theme: “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.” The theme celebrates efforts from girls and women in creating a more equal future and COVID-19 pandemic recovery.


  • to highlight – destacar
  • to honour – honrar
  • leadership – el liderazgo
  • movement – el movimiento
  • recovery – la reactivación
  • rights – los derechos
  • theme – el tema


There are many words in English that are the same or very similar to Spanish. These are called cognates (cognados).

  • pandemic – la pandemia
  • prejudice – el prejuicio
  • proclamation – la proclamación
  • virtual – virtual
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