International Women's Day 2021

What is International Women's Day and how can I celebrate?

International Women’s Day is on Monday the 8th March 2021.

What is IWD (International Women’s Day?)

The first International Women’s Day gathering was in 1911 - the same year Portsmouth Students’ Union started!

International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality.

IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.

Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist and activist once explained "The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights."

International Women's Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action - whatever that looks like globally at a local level. It continues to grow from strength to strength.

Internationally, purple is a colour for symbolising women. Historically the combination of purple, green and white to symbolise women's equality originated from the Women's Social and Political Union in the UK in 1908. Purple signifies justice and dignity. Green symbolises hope. White represents purity, but is no longer used due to 'purity' being a controversial concept.

The theme for this year is...


A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day.

We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.

From challenge comes change, so let's all choose to challenge.

Strike the Choose To Challenge pose and share on social media using #ChooseToChallenge #IWD2021 to encourage further people to commit to helping forge an inclusive world. The Choose to Challenge pose is to raise your hand high to show you're in and that you commit to choose to challenge and call out inequality.

How to celebrate!

  • PwC will be attending Bright network’s International Women's Day, which is back for a third year on Monday 8th March. Find out more here
  • You can also find a whole host of events through the International Women's Day website. Check it out here.
  • Run a (virtual) lunch catch-up to commemorate the day. If you haven' had a chance recently to catch up with the women in your life, today is a great day to organise this! Why not take this time to get everyone to share their stories about the inspirational woman in their life, or a public figure they look up to? Take time out to thank the women in your life for their achievements and hard work.
  • You could show your support for women-owned small businesses. It's not easy to start a business. This year especially many women are breaking the mould and starting their own businesses, far up from what we've observed a decade ago. Why not show your support for these women-owned businesses - be it by signing up for a session if they're a fitness brand, purchasing items from them as a gift, even giving them a shout-out online. A simple action goes a long way.
  • A movie night with strong female leads! Who doesn't love a movie with a strong female lead? Whether they're busting out their best fight moves like in the 2000's hit Charlie's Angels, venturing into a war to save mankind (Wonder Woman), or breaking stereotypes (Legally Blonde), there's something we can learn from every character. Get the flat/house together, or host a Netflix Party!
  • Join in or Wednesday Quiz! On Wednesday 10th March, we'll be using the Instagram Wednesday Quiz to celebrate International Women's Day 2021. Head over to our Instagram Story at 12pm on Wednesday to take part!
  • Raise money for a women's charity. You could choose a local or national, or international women's charity to make a donation too - pick one that resonates with you. There are many charities around the world that could do with donations to support women in all areas, especially poverty and education. It doesn't have to be a lot, whatever you can afford to donate - they'll be grateful for every penny.

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