International Women’s Dayhas been observed since the early 1900’s, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialised world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.  In 1908, great unrest and critical debate was occurring amongst women. Women’s oppression and inequality was spurring women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. During 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter work hours, better pay and voting rights.

This resulted in a declaration by the Socialist Party of America of the first National Woman’s Day, which was observed across the United States on 28 February 1909. The movement grew and on 19 March 1911 the first International Women’s Day was observed, simultaneously, in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.  International Women’s Day in the present time is celebrated across the world with a focus on the economical, political and social contribution made by women.

Northampton  celebrated International Women’s Day on 8 March 2012 at the Guildhall in the town’s centre.  Organised by Pearls of Peace,  the event brought together women from different walks of life, all united in the celebration of womanhood.   IHWO welcomed the opportunity to be present at the event.  An exhibition showcasing IHWO’s work was displayed and volunteers from IHWO ran a ‘How to wear a Saree’ workshop, which proved popular.   The event proved successful and will no doubt grow in popularity with subsequent events.