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.

International Women’s Day 2021

Want to organise a fundraising event with a couple of friends? Contact

The theme for 2020 was: ‘Creating an Equal and Enabled world’ 

Zonta Club of Wellington and UN Women Aotearoa teamed up to bring you INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2020.

This year’s speakers included the Hon Julie Anne Genter – Minister for Women, Tiana Epati – President of the Law Society, and Dr Lupe Taumoepeau – NZ’s first female vascular surgeon.

The theme was Creating an Equal and Enabled world. Share your activities and images below and join the conversation on social using the hashtags #IWD2020 #Zonta #UNWomen.

The year 2020 represents an unmissable opportunity to mobilise global action to achieve gender equality and human rights of all women and girls.

A few photos of an International Women’s Day brunch held at the beautiful Pemberton Gardens. The event was also attended by Dr Kelly Dombroski an award-winning researcher in Feminist Human Geography who has conducted field research in China, Asia, and Australia, and Sally Carlton, a broadcaster on Plains FM and an advocate of Human Rights issues and the long term impact on volunteering.

A few photos from Zonta Marlborough’s International Women’s Day Breakfast. From left: Zonta members at the reception desk in their “100 years of Zonta” aprons. Speaker Sarah Scott-Webb. Spontaneous waiata given in response. Part of the 120 strong audience.

A few photos from Zonta Whanganui’s International Women’s Day Breakfast.

Dunedin Kiwirail Staff supporting International Women’s Day. Photo supplied by Laura Ratuva.