With March almost here, it’s time to celebrate the contributions that women make in our world every day with International Women’s Day.

March 8 marks the occasion each year and it’s a global awareness day where we shine a light on the achievements that women have made in the cultural, political, and socioeconomic spheres.

Having said this, it also gives us an opportunity to highlight the work that still needs to be done as well as the things we can do to create a more gender-equal world.

If you’re wondering why we celebrate International Women’s Day and what this year’s theme is, look no further.

Bournemouth Echo: International Women's Day has a theme each yearInternational Women's Day has a theme each year (Image: Canva)

Why do we celebrate International Women’s Day?

In the early 20th century, the world was seeing women's suffrage movements popping up across the world from New Zealand to the US.

Various versions of "Women's Day" existed before it became the global celebration we know.

Back in February 1909, the Socialist Party of America organised a Women's Day in New York City.

A year later, the International Socialist Women's Conference in Germany proposed an annual (but dateless) Women's Day.

We would get March 8 from the day that women gained the vote in Russia in the wake of the February Revolution in 1917.

The date was later adopted by global feminist movements and was then made an official global holiday by the United Nations in 1977.

Read more about the history of International Women's Day via the UN website.

Bournemouth Echo: International Women's Day is celebrated on March 8International Women's Day is celebrated on March 8 (Image: Canva)

What is the theme for International Women’s Day 2023?

This year’s theme is #EmbraceEquity, the International Women’s Day (IWD) website explains.

It encourages people to support the theme, not just on International Women’s Day but every day.

“Equity isn't just a nice-to-have, it's a must-have.

“A focus on gender equity needs to be part of every society's DNA.

“And it's critical to understand the difference between equity and equality.

“The IWD 2023 campaign theme drives worldwide understanding why Equal opportunities aren't enough!”, the IWD website says.

How to get involved with International Women’s Day 2023

There are plenty of things you can do to get behind this year’s campaign.

You can use the IWD website to educate yourself about the 2023 issue or find out how to attend or host an event.

You could also share articles by the UN and other major organisations or celebrate the women in your life via social media.

By sharing and signing petitions or recommending empowering books and films, you can help use your voice to bring about change.

Another way to celebrate the occasion is to support feminist businesses and charities whether that’s shopping locally at a female-owned business or donating to charities that are fighting against gender inequality all over the world.