What You Might Not Know about the History of International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day. It was founded in 1908 with a march through New York City of women demanding better pay, better working conditions and the right to vote. Since then, it’s been commemorated around the world as a day to celebrate progress toward gender equality and focus attention on the big gaps that remain.

For the broader UN family and NGO community, IWD has become an inflection point for the various agencies to call attention to how their work supports gender parity. For example, the International Labor Organization released an exhaustive report today on female workforce participation around the world The World Food Program is highlighting how its humanitarian operations empower women in South Sudan; and UN Women posted a video reminding world leaders of the pledges they made regarding gender equality at a recent international summit last December.

These five images, created by the United Nations Foundation, distill into succinct statistics why, 108 years later, we still so profoundly need an International Women’s Day.

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