International Women's Day—March 8

Celebrate women. Right the wrong of poverty.

Every March 8, millions of people around the world celebrate International Women’s Day. Here in the US, you can play an important part in this effort. Together, we are raising awareness about women’s efforts to overcome poverty and injustice.

This International Women's Day, celebrate by sending an eCard to friends and family, spreading the word on social media, or honoring a woman who is making a difference in your community. Whatever you choose to do, you’re sending a powerful message about the role of women as a force for change.

International Women's Day - March 8, 2015

On the first International Women’s Day, more than a century ago, one million women and men in five countries took to the streets to rally for women’s economic, social, and political rights. Their efforts helped women secure the right to vote and make other important gains.

International Women’s Day—which falls every year on March 8—is still celebrated as an important holiday in many countries. It’s a time to honor everyday women for their accomplishments and salute the efforts of notable women around the world.

In the fight to end poverty, women are on the front lines.

The way we see it, poverty is solvable—a problem rooted in injustice. Eliminate injustice and you can eliminate poverty. We’re not saying it will be quick or easy, but it can be done.

And we can’t begin to tackle those problems without considering the vast inequities that exist between women and men—the access each gender has to education, to resources, and to political engagement. Women, on every score, fall far behind. Worldwide, they bear the brunt of poverty.

But when women can exercise their rights and gain the knowledge, skills, and information they need, they can become powerful agents of change. Consider these facts:

  • Worldwide in 2008, nearly 800 million people over the age of 15 could neither read nor write—and two-thirds of them were women.
  • In most countries, women earn between 10 and 30 percent less than men.
  • As of July 2013, women worldwide made up fewer than 21 percent of national legislators.
  • Of all credit offered in developing countries, only 10 percent of it is available to women, making it more difficult for them to start businesses or take out loans.
  • An estimated 150 million people in 34 developing countries could escape hunger if women had the same access as men to the assets they need for farming.

Get more facts and learn about our work with women.

Empowered women can change the world

Through our work in more than 90 countries, Oxfam helps women and girls overcome gender discrimination, realize their potential, and assume leadership roles in their communities. When you join us in celebrating International Women’s Day, you’re playing an important role in these efforts. See how you can take action and inspiring stories below about women around the world. 

Women and girls changing the world


Oxfam’s New Year’s Resolutions for 2016

Happy New Year! Just like individuals need to shake off the holidays and think about the opportunities of a fresh year, organizations ought to take stock and decide where they want to put extra effort. Here's our list for 2016. Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Google+