Fast-forward several decades, and IWD hit another major milestone. In 1975, the event was celebrated for the first time by the United Nations, and two years later, the General Assembly adopted a resolution "proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions." In 1996, the U.N. began assigning an annual theme to each IWD, starting off with "Celebrating the past, Planning for the Future." As the world moved into a new millenium, IWD went digital in 2001 with the launch of internationalwomensday.com, which continues to partner with corporations and organizations to promote and offer education around gender equality. To mark IWD's 100th birthday in 2011, President Barack Obama proclaimed March 2011 to be "Women's History Month," and called on Americans to reflect on "the extraordinary accomplishments of women" who helped shape the country's history.
So where does that leave us today? Sure, many are still misinformed about the origins of IWD and the massive impact it's had on social justice, politics, labor, wages and more, but many more recognize its unparalleled importance. According to internationalwomensday.com, IWD is considered an official holiday in numerous countries, including Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. In some countries, it's considered the equivalent of Mother's Day, and in others, women and men are still silently and secretly honoring its significance. Wherever you are, consider dedicating the day to the powerful lineage of women who made modern life possible and those who continue to push for change.