March 8 – International Women’s Day (IWD) has been observed since the early 1900’s as a global celebration of women, established before women were allowed to vote! It was celebrated for the first time on March 19, 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination.
Every year since, organizations, governments and women’s groups around the world choose different themes that reflect global and local gender issues. In 15 countries including China, Russia, Vietnam, Bulgariaand Canada, International Women’s Day is a national holiday.
Over the past few years Google has marked the occasion with a “Google Doodle”, changing their logo on the search engine’s homepage to reflect the occasion.
In Toronto, the Canadian Association for Women Executives & Entrepreneurs (CAWEE) holds an annual evening event in recognition of IWD. The event, this year being held on March 31, celebrates the “extra ordinary women” who run our businesses and lead our companies.