International Women’s Day is celebrated by Soroptimists as part of the movement towards women’s rights and its origins can be traced back to 1909.

It was more widely celebrated in communist countries for a number of years but in 1975 the United Nations for the first time celebrated International Women’s Day.

In 1977 the United Nations invited member states to proclaim March 8 each year as the UN Day for Women’s Rights and World Peace.

This year the international theme is # Press for Progress and links to the Sustainable Development Goals commitment to leave no one behind.

While it may be alarming to think that true gender equality is 200 years away, it strengthens resolve to not only celebrate the achievements of many women but also to acknowledge that much remains to be done and that we must continue to press forward not only for ourselves but for the next generations of women.

Around our Federation women and girls will be involved in celebrations at breakfast and lunches, will be listening to inspirational speakers and will be realising all that they can become. They will become aware that, united, women are a powerful force that can bring about change .

Publicise what you are doing, post on Facebook or Twitter using our hashtag, #SWPIWD18 and #Press for Progress and celebrate and publicise our work.