International Women’s Day

In 1975 the UN recognised International Women’s Day 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 a special day for UN Women Aotearoa NZ. Organisations, workplaces, small and large are invited to organise fundraising events across the country to mark the day and raise funds for UN Women’s programmes for women and girls.  

The events, often 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’s projects for the advancement of women
  • to receive messages from the UN Secretary-General, the Executive Director of UN Women, the UN Women Aotearoa NZ President and the UN Women Aotearoa NZ Patron
  • and to enjoy each other’s company and support.

Register your event here

International Women’s Day 2022

IWD 2022 campaign theme: “Equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”

The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March, 2022 (IWD 2022) recognises 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.

Advancing gender equality in the context of the climate crisis and disaster risk reduction is one of the greatest global challenges of the 21st century. The issues of climate change and sustainability have had and will continue to have, severe and lasting impacts on our environment, economic and social development. Those who are amongst the most vulnerable and marginalized experience the deepest impacts. Women are increasingly being recognized as more vulnerable to climate change impacts than men, as they constitute the majority of the world’s poor and are more dependent on the natural resources which climate change threatens the most.

The theme for IWD 2022 is aligned with the priority theme for the upcoming 66th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66) also in March 2022: “Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes”.

International Women’s Day 2021

IWD 2021 campaign theme: “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”

The theme celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also aligned with the priority theme of the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, “Women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”, and the flagship Generation Equality campaign, which calls for women’s right to decision-making in all areas of life, equal pay, equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work, an end all forms of violence against women and girls, and health-care services that respond to their needs.