International Women's Day 2015
In 2015, International Women’s Day, celebrated globally on 8 March, will highlight the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a historic roadmap signed by 189 governments 20 years ago that sets the agenda for realizing women’s rights. While there have been many achievements since then, many serious gaps remain.
This is the time to uphold women’s achievements, recognize challenges, and focus greater attention on women’s rights and gender equality to mobilize all people to do their part. The Beijing Platform for Action focuses on 12 critical areas of concern, and envisions a world where each woman and girl can exercise her choices, such as participating in politics, getting an education, having an income, and living in societies free from violence and discrimination.
To this end, the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is the clarion call of UN Women’s Beijing+20 campaign “Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture it!” Join governments and activists across the world in commemorating the ground-breaking Conference of 1995. We celebrate the many achievements that have come since then and galvanize action to address the gaps that still remain in making gender equality a reality.
"Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality" asks governments to make national commitments to address the challenges that are holding women and girls back from reaching their full potential within the next 15 years. Launching on the occasion of International Women's Day 2015, Step It Up will showcase specific commitments that governments make, leading up to the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015. The initiative comes at a critical moment in time as a new development agenda is taking shape to replace the Millennium Development Goals. Learn more about how to Step It Up »
Speeches and messages
"When we unleash the power of women, we can secure the future for all," says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message for International Women’s Day 2015.
In her message for International Women's Day 2015, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka says gender parity must be reached before 2030, so that the sluggish trajectory of progress can be reversed that condemns a child born today to wait 80 years before they see an equal world. She calls on all countries to “step it up” for gender equality, to reach ‘Planet 50-50’ before 2030.
Read her op-ed, in which she calls for substantial change and stresses the need to frontload actions for the next five years to achieve full equality before 2030.
“Gender equality is a shared vision of social justice and human rights”
Speech by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka at the High-level Thematic Debate on advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, 6 March.
Watch the live webcast of the UN Observance of International Women’s Day 2015, on 6 March from 9-10.30 a.m., here.
- Event coverage: Stepping it up on the streets of New York City (8 March, 2015)
- Press conference: "Collective Failure of Leadership on Progress for Women" (6 March, 2015)
- Urgent action required in five key areas, says Beijing summary report (6 March, 2015)
- Media advisory: Curtain-raiser press conference as 59th Commission on the Status of Women meets to assess global progress for women 20 years after Beijing Conference
- Media advisory: International Women's Day March for Gender Equality and Women's Rights
- Media advisory: As the Beijing Declaration turns 20, the 59th Commission on the Status of Women will take stock of women’s rights, amid mixed progress
- "Step it up' march on 8 March: Take to the streets for gender equality and women’s rights
IWD activities around the world
See our Flickr album of events to mark International Women’s Day 2015 around the world, with marches, conferences, theatrical performances, and more.
Stepping it up on the streets of New York City
See our Flickr album of the march for International Women’s Day 2015. Thousands of energetic gender equality advocates snaked through midtown Manhattan on 8 March in a collective show of solidarity for the global women’s movement.
"Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality" celebration
Held at the Manhattan Centre in New York City 10 March, this celebratory event is held in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the World Conference on Women in Beijing and features musical performances, high-powered speakers and celebrities.
IWD commemoration at UN Headquarters
See our Flickr album of the UN Observance of International Women’s Day 2015 on 6 March at the UN Secretariat, as well as the press conference with UN Women's Executive Director, where she launched the "Step It Up" initiative.
Stock exchanges ring the bell for gender equality
See our Flickr album of opening bell-ringing ceremonies around the world. Beginning with the Egyptian Exchange in Cairo on 3 March, bells were rung at the Bombay Stock Exchange, Borsa Istanbul, Nigerian Stock Exchange, OMX Stockholm, and Warsaw Stock Exchange, ending at the NASDAQ Stock Exchange in New York on 9 March.
Join the conversation for #IWD2015!
- Main hashtags: #IWD2015 (#DíadelaMujer, #Journéedelafemme); #Beijing20
- Main Twitter accounts: @UN_Women (English), @ONUMujeres (Spanish), @ONUFemmes (French)
- Main Facebook accounts: UN Women (English), ONU Mujeres (Spanish), ONU Femmes (French)
- Other accounts: Instagram, Google+, Pinterest
- Change your Facebook and Twitter cover image with the banners available in English, Spanish and French (under “General”) here.
- If you organize or participate in a local International Women’s Day event, share your images and messages on our Facebook Event page and bring your event to a global audience.
- If you are in New York City, join our march for gender equality on 8 March.
- On 8 March, follow our Facebook Live event with UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson through the below webcast.
- Follow our accounts for live coverage from the different events and share content from our social media package, which is available with images, videos and sample promotional messages in English, Spanish and French here.
Join our Facebook Live event with UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, 8 March (1 p.m. EST). Read more and watch the livestream here.Intl Women's Day #IWD2015
Find out more about UN System Observances for International Women’s Day 2014 here.
The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March during International Women’s Year 1975. Two years later, in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.
International Women’s Day first emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe. Since those early years, International Women’s Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. The growing international women’s movement, which has been strengthened by four global United Nations women’s conferences, has helped make the commemoration a rallying point to build support for women’s rights and participation in the political and economic arenas.
Increasingly, International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.