What is IWD?

International Women's Day is March 8th every year. In 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Women's Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on February 28th. Women continued to celebrate NWD on the last Sunday of February until 1913. Following a decision agreed upon in Copenhagen in 1911, International Women's Day (IWD) was honored for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland on March 19th.

IWD 2012 Theme

Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures

If every International Women's Day event held in 2012 includes girls in some way, then thousands of minds will be inspired globally.

Why Women, Why Now?

  • Women work 2/3 of the world's working hours, yet earn only 10% of the world's income.
  • 2/3 of children denied primary education are girls.
  • More than 500,000 women die in pregnancy and childbirth every year with 99% of these women in developing countries
  • Only 11 countries have met the UN target of 30% female decision-makers
  • Domestic violence is the biggest cause of injury and death to women worldwide.
  • Around 70% of the 1.3 billion people who live in extreme poverty are women and girls
  • Low levels of education, poor health, and limited access to resources not only depress women's quality of life, but also limit productivity and hinder local and global economic efficiency and growth.

What Are We Doing About it?

Join fellow students, community members, and Cornell faculty and administration in taking an active role in recognizing the hardships and challenges women face around the world. Become engaged in the global movement for the advancement of women through education, unity, awareness, and activism. Celebrate the role women have played in our personal lives, and within our community at large.

For IWD 2012, Cornell University is hosting a wide range of events from discussions to films to celebratory receptions and day trips. Please browse the links to the right to see what we have planned.