International Women’s Day

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World Women's Day - International Women's Day - Women's Equality Day

Since March 19, 1911, Europe has celebrated International Women’s Day. In 1921, the date was moved to March 8 by the decision of the Second International Conference of Socialist Women. Women’s Equality Day is celebrated on August 26, marking the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote in the USA. Thus, Women’s Equality Day is an American “holiday” celebrated since August 26, 1971.

How does Malta celebrate these women’s holidays?

Frau aus 19. Jahrundert zeigt Muskeloberarm zum Weltfrauentag

What do International Women's Day and Women's Equality Day mean?

International Women’s Day is not usually a public holiday, unfortunately not even in Malta. According to our research, only Poland, Moldova, and Germany (in only 2 of its 16 states) have made International Women’s Day a public holiday since 2019 in Berlin and 2023 in Brandenburg.
Women’s Equality Day in the USA is also not a public holiday. However, this does not mean these days lack significance. They remind us annually of: The continuous struggle for participation and equality of women in all areas of life and society.

International Women's Day is a public holiday in about 30 countries.

Equatorial GuineaArmeniaNepal (for women only)
Burkina FasoBelarusNorth Korea
EritreaChina (for women only)Russia
Madagascar (for women only)KazakhstanTurkmenistan

The fight for women's equality

The quest or fight for equality has a long history. 150 years of protests and struggles for women’s voting rights in the USA are historically documented. The women’s suffrage amendment was first introduced on January 10, 1878, and faced decades of opposition from (male) opponents of women’s rights in the government. The regulation of voting rights is left to the states. For many years, it was common in the USA that women could not inherit property and received at most half the salary of a man in available professions.

18 months of protest in front of the White House did not help

In 1917, women, under the name “The Silent Sentinels,” demonstrated for 18 months in front of the White House. They denounced the hypocrisy in the USA. Shortly before, the USA had fought for democracy in Europe in World War I, rights that were denied to women in the USA. On August 26, 1970, Betty Friedan and the National Organization for Women organized a nationwide women’s strike for equality, with over 100,000 women participating in about 90 cities across the United States, including over 50,000 in New York City’s Fifth Avenue.

Since 1971, women's rights have been in the American Constitution

In 1971, Women’s Equality Day was incorporated into the American Constitution. Every year on August 26 is Women’s Equality Day, and the American President is authorized and encouraged to issue a proclamation annually to commemorate the women’s suffrage and the 1970 equality strike. A notable speech for Women’s Equality Day was given by then-President Barack Obama in 2013.

Hillary Clinton's 1995 speech on the 25th anniversary of Women Right

Hillary Clintons: 'Women's Rights are Human Rights,' 25 years on
Hillary Clinton gave a speech on 25 years of women's rights at the UN Conference in Beijing in 1995.

Theme of International Women's Day 2024 - Invest in women: Accelerate progress

Imagine a gender-equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together, we can advance the equality of women.

Current statistics from the entrepreneurial scene

Venture capital funding has surged in recent years, but the numbers for female founders have not increased at the same pace. In 2023, companies founded solely by women received only 2% of the total capital of venture-backed startups in the USA, according to In Europe, nearly 20% of venture capital went to startups led by women, a 30% increase from 2022.

The International Women's Day

In Finland, then part of Russia, women’s suffrage was introduced in 1906. The UK is also a pioneer in Europe for women’s voting rights. On August 26, 1910, the decisive event for the later International Women’s Day took place in Copenhagen, where over 100 delegates from 17 nations met at the II International Socialist Women’s Conference. The women’s movement primarily aimed for women’s voting rights but aimed to achieve more for women in society in the medium term:

  • Social care for mother and child
  • Equal treatment of unmarried mothers
  • Provision of day nurseries and kindergartens
  • Free school meals and freedom from teaching materials
  • International solidarity and cooperation of organized women
  • Political and economic rights
  • Against war
  • Against exploitation and disenfranchisement

In 1911, following the call of trade unions and social democratic parties, over a million people demonstrated in Germany, Austria, Denmark, and Switzerland. A few months later, Sweden, the Netherlands, France, and Russia joined the movement. After the world wars, International Women’s Day quieted down for many years.

What do women's rights activists criticize about International Women's Day?

Currently, in some countries, mansplaining, manspreading, manslamming, or manterrupting prevails. These are all words behind which lies the disrespect of men towards women. Surely many men have dealt or are dealing with this criticism. However, there’s still a long way to go. Some feminists fear that it may take another hundred years.
Famous women’s rights activists like Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie call for more male awareness. Men should stand up for “their” women even in small injustices in everyday life. Pay close attention and seize opportunities to represent a clear stance for equal rights. Reflecting on gender roles and breaking stereotypes ultimately benefits men too, according to the author. In Malta, there is a project, Equality 4 all mt, with the European Union. Equality 4 all mt is not tied to International Women’s Day.

What do Maltese women wish for International Women's Day?

  • Better childcare
  • Equal pay for equal work/performance
  • More women in “typical” male professions as role models for young women
  • Women need to support each other more, instead of being indifferent or even working against each other
  • Women quotas in governments, supervisory boards, executive management, and management
  • More women should enter politics to organize majorities for more women’s rights
  • Comprehensive maternity protection and compatibility of care, family, and career
  • No sexual harassment
  • Less talk, more action.
  • Malta in comparison to EU countries in the Gender Equality Index (GEI)
    Malta has steadily improved over the last ten years. Alongside Luxembourg and Italy, Malta has made the most progress since 2010.
Malta Gender Equality Index GEI 2021 (Quelle Eige)

What progress has Malta made in the GEI since 2010?

Malta’s progress in gender equality since 2010 is remarkable. With 65.0 out of 100 points, Malta ranks 13th in the EU on the equality index, 3.0 points below the EU average. Malta’s score has increased by 10.6 points since 2010, improving its ranking by five places. Since 2018, Malta’s score has increased by 1.6 points. In the category of work, Malta is now in 4th place with a score of 76.8, just behind Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

Sources: European Union,

Which organizations in Malta officially support International Women's Day?

International Women’s Day is not solely organized by governments, charities, companies, women’s networks, or media centers. The day “belongs” to all participating groups worldwide. Thus, there are organizations in Malta that contribute to International Women’s Day. Besides all daily newspapers, we have identified the following non-political organizations.

International Women's Day and the United Nations (UN)

International Women’s Day is primarily about encouraging, empowering, and admiring women. Women in Europe and the USA fought for many rights for equality despite all adversities and suppression. The United Nations names a new annual theme for March 8, International Women’s Day, every year.

Who is UN Women?

UN Women is a United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and women’s rights, the end of violence against women, and the elimination of discrimination against women.
It advocates for the abolition of discriminatory laws, economic disadvantage, forced marriage, and sexualized violence. According to its reports, UN Women successfully lobbied for the repeal of discriminatory laws in 17 countries in 2018.
The theme for International Women’s Day on March 8, 2023 (IWD 2023), is “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality.” This theme aligns with the focus of the upcoming 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW-67).

When was UN Women founded?

UN Women was unanimously decided upon and established at a UN conference on July 2, 2010. It began its work in 2011. In many countries around the world, associations and organizations of UN Women have emerged. They advocate for women’s rights at the national level. We could not find a UN Women organization in Malta.

Das Logo der UN Women

What events are there in Malta on International Women's Day?

Annually at 17:30, there is a protest march in Republic Street in Valletta for Women’s Day. Additionally, there are some political events by the government and parties. A few stores, hotels, museums, and restaurants take advantage of the attention given to International Women’s Day by offering discounts or presenting gifts to female visitors.

Exclusive interview with Malta's comedy star Niti Dhingra-Figeac on International Women's Day

In Gzira, the G.L.O.W Comedy Night took place in 2023. Niti was one of the organizers. She began her comedy career in Berlin and has since performed in North America and Europe. In London, she started improvising comedies. In Malta, Niki regularly performs her Open-Mic-Night show at Kingsgate Arms. She is currently the only woman in Malta with a comedy program for women. We seize the opportunity and ask for an interview.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It’s very important to me. It’s a day when we celebrate with our allies how far we’ve come, but also take stock of what needs to be done for us and our sisters in less fortunate circumstances.

You lived in Berlin for several years. Germany has come a long way in terms of equality. Do you see Malta on a good path to equality?

I think Malta is on its way there. I believe that the majority of people want and understand the long-term benefits of equality, but there are still some people with narrow-minded views, and unfortunately, these people are loud and hinder progress. I know there are many people working in organizations trying to make life better for everyone. And I’m glad I can do something to support them. With my event, I want to raise money for the Migrant Women’s Association Malta.

Is the gender pay gap a problem in Malta, in your opinion?

I think that’s a very complicated question. Generally, women don’t progress as far in their careers and are more likely to have to give up their work to care for others. Even if there were no pay gap, women would still face economic problems and be less well-off. Moreover, they tend to do more housework at home, even if they work as hard as men. I think we need to enable men to care for people and encourage women to be ambitious.

What can Maltese citizens and men do more for equality?

  • Listen and ask questions
  • Be comfortable taking on domestic chores
  • Speak out against rape culture and misogyny when they see it
  • Attend events organized by women
  • Remember that as allies, they can do a lot

Do women support each other in their solidarity and motivation?

Yes, I believe they do. I have a great network of girlfriends, and I don’t think I’d do crazy things like organizing comedy nights without their support.

You are organizing the G.L.O.W. Comedy Night on 03/08/2023. How did you come up with the idea for this event in Gzira?

Isn’t it funny that people only notice when it’s only women or only minorities? I guess most comedy shows in Malta this month will be performed exclusively by men. At most comedy nights, there will be only one woman, and she definitely won’t be the headliner. If we’re booked less, we don’t get the same amount of stage time to practice and improve, which keeps the cycle going.

Do you do this event every year?

No, it’s the first time, but I hope I will do it again!

How many guests do you expect at your event?

Afro deli has a capacity of 50 people… and the food is delicious, so come!

What advice do you give other women for more justice?

Remember that you deserve it. You deserve to be heard, and you deserve to have your needs met.

Thank you for the interview. We at World of Malta wish you success at the event.

Our suggestions for International Women's Day!

Since International Women’s Day is not a holiday in Malta, there are no outstanding activities to announce. As a male author, the first thing that comes to mind is: make a surprise holiday, bring breakfast to bed, and start taking over housework on International Women’s Day.
Additionally, order a fabulous bouquet from one of Malta’s reliable florists, such as il-Qronfla, for your loved one, mother, sister, or grandmother.
For the evening, we visited the north this time in search of a gourmet restaurant. For Valentine’s Day, we had selected restaurants and hotels evenly distributed across the island.

The Diar Il-Bniet in DingliThe Diar Il-Bniet prepares its dishes with products and ingredients from its own cultivation. All dishes are prepared from fresh ingredients. The family business cultivates over 600 hectares of land. The Maltese cuisine of Diar Il-Bniet includes many recipes passed down to children over generations.Reserve a table for your loved ones for International Women’s Day. The restaurant is an absolute insider tip and is booked out on most opening days. You will certainly not regret the visit to Dingli.
Homemade dishes with homegrown fresh herbs and vegetables
Homemade dishes with home-grown fresh herbs and vegetables

Contact to Diar Il-Bniet in Dingli

Address: 121, Triq il- Kbira Ħad-Dingli, Malta
Phone: +356 2762 0727
Email: [email protected]

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FAQ: Do you have questions about International Women's Day? We give you the right answers!

International Women’s Day was first held on March 19, 1911. It was called International Women’s Day of Struggle. In 1921, on the suggestion of the Bulgarian delegation, International Women’s Day was set to March 8.

In 1911, International Women’s Day was initiated. It is considered one of the first steps towards the equality of women. Since then, women worldwide have been demonstrating and demanding better working and living conditions. Demonstrations take place worldwide on March 8.

Purple (justice), green (hope), and white (purity) are the colors of International Women’s Day. These colors originate from the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in the United Kingdom in 1908. In 1911, the red carnation was the symbol of the working class. During demonstrations for more and better women’s rights, participants wore red carnations on their lapels as a sign of solidarity and belonging. The red stood for strength, and the delicate flowers for elegance, while their sensual scent symbolized passion.

Yes and no. In a few countries, International Women’s Day is a public holiday. These include, for example, Angola, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Cuba, North Korea, Russia, and Vietnam. Some of these countries grant only women a day off on International Women’s Day. In Germany, in 2019, the federal state of Berlin declared International Women’s Day a public holiday.

Women in Malta have had the right to vote since October 25, 1947. Voter turnout in the 1947 elections was very high, at 75.42%. The Labour Party won the first election with 59.9% of the vote.

Every organizer of International Women’s Day is free to choose their theme. Thus, the themes for International Women’s Day vary between countries, unions, and the UN. The topics usually change every year.

The clause “equal pay for equal work” was incorporated into the constitution in 1974.

International Women’s Day is celebrated worldwide in various ways. The UN observes IWD with annually changing themes or a campaign on women’s rights.

IWD is the abbreviation for International Women’s Day.

To raise public awareness, the UN declared 1975 the International Year of Women. The first women’s conference was also convened in Mexico City that year.

Hashtags for 2024:

#IWD2024 #EqualityNOW #InvestInWomen

Hashtags for 2023:

#IWD2023 #InternationalWomensDay #EmbraceEquity #BreakTheBias

Are you missing a question? Get in touch with us. We are sure we have the right answer.

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International Women’s Day
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