Media advisory: International Women’s Day 2018

Time is Now: Rural and Urban Activists Transforming Women’s Lives


International Women’s Day will be commemorated globally on 8 March. Coming on the heels of unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality, safety and justice, the theme for this year’s commemoration is: “Time is Now: Rural and Urban Activists Transforming Women’s Lives”.

Now more than ever before, people across the world are mobilizing, with marches and campaigns like #MeToo, #NiUnaMenos, or #Ana_kaman, for a future that is more equal. Rural and urban activists continue to mobilize, disrupt the status quo, and influence a broad range of policy, legislative and social reform; from founding projects to end violence at the workplace to providing access to services for ethnic, immigrant and minority women, working every day to leave no one behind.  

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate the tireless work of activists who are central to the global push for gender equality. It is a unique moment to join the efforts, to empower women in all settings, rural and urban, and celebrate the activists who are striving to claim women’s rights.

Members of the media are invited to attend or follow the commemoration events below.

Join the online conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #IWD2018 #TimeIsNow, and following @UN_Women. Access the social media package in English, French and Spanish here.

8 March

UN International Women’s Day commemoration with UN officials, activists, and celebrities

8 March 2018, 10 a.m. – 12.30 p.m., General Assembly Hall, UN Secretariat

This event will provide a platform to amplify the voices of rural and urban women and activists, as well as identify ways in which the UN system and its partners can support innovative solutions to advance gender equality and transform women’s lives.

Participants include:

  • UN Secretary-General, António Guterres
  • President of the UN General Assembly, Miroslav Lajčák
  • Australia Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop
  • UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
  • Academy-award winning actor and activist, Reese Witherspoon
  • Tony-nominated playwright, actor and activist, Danai Gurira
  • Co-founder and President of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, Mónica Ramírez
  • Executive Director of Imkaan, Marai Larasi
  • WABC anchor Sade Baderinwa, Moderator

The UN commemoration event is open to the media, but space is limited. To attend the event, please register here.  

The event will also be webcast live on: and

Innovation Norway, SAP and UN Women joint event “Strengthening Female Entrepreneurs towards 2030. How to secure financial inclusion and investment in women-owned businesses?”

8 March 2018, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., 10 Hudson Yards, 48th floor, New York

Enhancing women’s possibilities to create sustainable businesses worldwide is essential to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, and a fairer and more inclusive world. The event will aim to bring to the top of the global agenda discussions on progress and challenges around women’ entrepreneurship, and financial inclusion and investment in women-owned enterprises as key drivers for transformative change. During the event, UN Women will announce the Champions for Innovation (GICC)—a diverse group of women and men, from actors to athletes, who will support UN Women in ensuring that women and girls can design, shape and benefit from the technological transformations and innovations changing our world. Successful female entrepreneurs will also be celebrated during the event.

Participants include:

  • HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway
  • UN Women’s Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
  • NFL Player and activist, Wade Davis
  • Author and Historian, Nina Ansary
  • Fashion Designer, Rachel Roy

Members of the media wishing to attend need to register here.

7 March

Facebook live with UN Secretary-General: Activism and Action

7 March, 12.15 p.m. – 12.45 p.m., on UN Women Facebook page

Ahead of International Women’s Day, an online Facebook Live event will be an opportunity to discuss how we can transform the recent global momentum created by the women’s movement into action and strategies to empower women in all settings.

Panellists include:

  • UN Secretary-General, António Guterres,
  • UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake
  • Co-founder and President of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, Mónica Ramírez
  • TRT anchor Ghida Fakhry, moderator

Ring the Bell events

7 March, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m., at Nasdaq Market Site, 4 Times Square, New York

To commemorate International Women’s Day, over 60 stock exchanges over the world (a significant increase from the 43 stock exchanges participating last year) will host bell ceremonies to raise awareness of the pivotal role the private sector can play in advancing gender equality. Nasdaq will kick off the bell ceremonies on 7 March in New York. The event will feature two panel discussions on the topic of gender equality and will conclude with the Closing Bell Ceremony.

Participants include:

  • UN Women’s Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
  • President and CEO of Nasdaq, Adena Friedman

Members of the media wishing to attend need to register here.

Ring the Bell events in other countries can be found here.

For more information, editorial content and assets on International Women’s Day, visit: