International Women's Day

2016 IWD

What is International Women’s Day?

In 1975 the UN recognised it as a day dedicated to the rights of women, but its beginnings were long before that.  It was first celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland in 1911, and in some countries was soon established as a public holiday.

In New Zealand, International Women’s Day is UN Women’s special day.  With the help of our affiliated organisations events are held across the country to mark the day.  The events, usually breakfasts are a forum

  • to hear from local or national speakers on issues that affect women
  • to celebrate women’s achievements
  • to raise funds for UN Women NZ’s projects for the advancement of women
  • to receive messages from the UN Secretary-General, the Executive Director of UN Women, the UN Women NZ President and the UN Women NZ Patrons
  • and to enjoy each other’s company and support.

UN Women NZ publishes guidelines to holding an event, watch this page for more information about the 2019 International Women's Day.  If you are interested in organising an event yourself or have any questions regarding IWD events, please Contact Us.  

International Women's Day 2018

The 2018 theme for International Women’s Day was achieving gender equality and empowering rural women and girls. Our 2018 events of which there were more than 60 across New Zealand and overseas, raised funds for the UN Women Meri Seif bus project in Papua New Guinea.