How to celebrate International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate the women in your life, from your friends and family to your co-workers and role models. It’s a global celebration of women, uniting women and girls around the world in support of gender equality.

We think International Women’s Day is a great opportunity for people of all genders to tell the ladies in their lives how much they are loved and appreciated – and to reflect on powerful women of the past, present and future.

What is International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day is a global awareness day to celebrate women, shouting out the social, cultural and political achievements of women worldwide, and helping to create equal rights and opportunities for everyone.

When is International Women’s Day? When did International Women’s Day start?

International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th around the world. Though it might feel like you’ve only heard about it in recent years, International Women’s Day is actually more than a hundred years old, and was historically a worker’s movement!

The Socialist Party of America arranged a Women’s Day in New York in 1909, when 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding voting rights and equal pay. The movement was adopted by German and Russian suffrage activists – and the day remains a national holiday in Russia, as well as many countries around the world.

Then in the 1960s, feminists adopted the day as a celebration of women, and the UN recognised IWD in 1977. Since then, it’s been a day of celebration, protest, campaigning, and support for women worldwide.

Image source: Unsplash

How to celebrate International Women’s Day

Wondering how you can support International Women’s Day this year? We’ve got some ideas of ways you can show support, get inspired, and celebrate the badass women in your life.

Read a book by an inspirational woman

Whether you’re working or not this International Women’s Day, find some time to sit down with a good book by an inspirational female author. Not sure where to start? We’ve put together a list of suggestions for iconic, ground-breaking books by women that will get you thinking, crying, and laughing.

  •       Becoming by Michelle Obama
  •       Brave, Not Perfect by Reshma Saujani
  •       Angela Carter’s Book of Wayward Girls by Angela Carter
  •       Hunger by Roxane Gay
  •       Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
  •       We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  •       The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  •       Feminism is for Everybody by bell hooks

Send a cheerleading email to a female colleague

Take the time to shout out a female colleague that you think is absolutely smashing it. Maybe you’ve got a co-worker who’s doing a great job despite going through a hard time, or a colleague who’s balancing being a mum along with her day-to-day work. Whatever it is, drop them a supportive email or get in the work group chat and praise your female friends for a bit of workplace girl power.  

Wear purple

Purple has been linked with the equal rights movement for a long time. The suffragettes wore a colour scheme of white, purple and green, devised in 1908 by Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence – purple represented loyalty and dignity. Purple has been associated with the women’s rights movement, and International Women’s Day, ever since. So dig out your best purple dress, cardigan or shoes and show your support – and encourage everyone in your life to do the same.

Listen to an International Women’s Day playlist

Soundtrack your International Women’s Day with some of the best female musicians around. From Beyonce to Blondie, pop on this Spotify playlist and enjoy the music of these fierce female artists.


Send a motivational message to a lady in your life

There’s nothing nicer than getting a message just to say ‘thinking of you’, especially during these difficult times. So this IWD, why not slide into your girlfriends’ DMs and send them an motivational message to inspire them through the day? Send a message of thanks to your mum for raising you to be the strong woman you are today, or shout out to your sister for being a role model for you. If you’re struggling to think of what to say, we’ve got you covered – read on to see some of our favourite inspirational quotes for International Women’s Day.

Image source: Unsplash

International Women’s Day quotes

From inspirational sayings to motivational quotes, here are some of our favourite messages and International Women’s Day quotes you can share with friends or post on social media this year.

      Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.

      Every woman’s success should be an inspiration to another. We’re strongest when we cheer each other on. – Serena Williams

      Empowered women empower women.

      “Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” – Maya Angelou

      Behind every successful woman is herself.

      “No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.” – Virginia Woolf

      Other girls are not my competition. I stand with them, not against them.

      “We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.” – Malala Yousafzai

      Real queens fix each other’s crowns.

      “My idea of feminism is self-determination, and it’s very open-ended: every woman has the right to become herself, and do whatever she needs to do.” – Ani DiFranco

      I am a strong woman because a strong woman raised me.

      “Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong. It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum, instead of two sets of opposing ideals.” – Emma Watson

      Little girls with dreams become women with vision.

      “There is no force more powerful than a woman determined to rise.” – Bosa Sebele


International Women’s Day cards

Go the extra mile this IWD and send the women in your life a card to celebrate them and give them some encouragement. We have a full range International Women’s Day cards, but here are a few of our favourite girl-power inspired designs.

Doodlelove, Veronica Dearly, Old English Company, L Dodsworth Design, Abbie Imagine, Hayley Victory


Feeling inspired? For more ideas and ways to celebrate special days, check out our special occasions section of the thortful blog.

 Header image source: Pexels