Celebrating International Women’s Day

Holiday: International Women's Day, March 8th
Where? Around the world


Meaning and History

International Women's Day is a day of celebration for the cultural, social, economic, and political achievements of women around the world. For more than a century, International Women’s Day has been an important day for women. It serves as a call to action to end discrimination based on gender. The first International Women’s Day occurred in 1911 when more than a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland campaigned for women’s equality. The first International Women’s Day was inspired by the Socialist Party of America’s strikes organized in 1909 to fight for women’s rights.


Today, International Women’s Day is collectively celebrated by groups around the world. International Women’s Day is not an event organized by one group, but rather, it is recognized by many different organizations and countries in different ways. For example, in Bulgaria and Romania, International Women’s Day is celebrated as an equivalent to Mother’s Day, where children give small gifts to mothers. While in other countries, such as Italy and Belarus, flowers are given to women to commemorate the holiday. Regardless of different cultural customs, International Women’s Day is a day of unity, reflection, and advocacy for women’s rights.


How to Celebrate International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world in different ways. Historically, the colors purple and green have been used to symbolize women’s equality. The Women’s Social and Political Union in the UK selected the colors with purple signifying justice and green symbolizing hope. Each year, a theme is selected for International Women’s Day to provide a unified direction for the movement. Past themes addressed topics such as violence against women, women’s education, HIV/AIDS, and ending poverty and hunger.


In 2019, the theme for International Women’s Day is “Balance for Better”. The theme focuses on the importance of everyone’s part in building a more gender-balanced world. Join the conversation with the hashtag #BalanceforBetter to discuss how you will contribute to a more balanced world.


To commemorate International Women’s Day, there are several events in Carinthia to mark the occasion.



Internationaler Frauentag in Villach - The Villacher Frauenbüro invites everyone to an engaging and informative program to celebrate women. Events include a showing of the film “We Want Sex” at Villach Stadtkino on March 7, as well as the Biographical Fempath and a political night prayer on March 8. https://www.facebook.com/events/424935801381881/

Biographical Fempath 1 & 2 - On International Women’s day, women’s stories will be explored through two biographical paths. Fempath I highlights the stories of women from the past with artists performing their biographies as living sculptures. Fempath II showcases the stories of eight women currently living in Villach as they talk about the places in the city that are relevant to their life’s story. https://www.facebook.com/events/1019202434947048/



Frauenräume. Erfahrungen und Imaginationen von Frauen in Kärnten - For International Women’s Day, the topic of “women’s spaces” will be explored through artistic interpretation with installations, performances, photographs, and readings. This engaging artistic experience discusses how the territorial and social living spaces of different women are shaped, as well as what positions and roles women occupy in Austrian society. https://www.facebook.com/events/304016647126891/


Einladung zur Frauentags-Veranstaltung - Dr. Alexandra Weiss will discuss the importance of Austrian politician and feminist Johanna Dohnal’s contributions to women’s politics. The event will include a discussion on women in politics as well as include readings from Dr. Weiss’ book “Johanna Dohnal und die Frauenpolitik der Zweiten Republik".