International Women's Rights Day, what is it?

International Women's Day or Women's Rights Day, if March 8 has many names, this day has one goal: to recognize "women for their achievements, regardless of division, that they are national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political." Says the UN.


World Women's Rights Day 2024

This year, International Women's Rights Day focuses on a specific theme "Investing in women: accelerating the pace", to highlight the importance of investment in advancing women's rights and well-being.

In 2024, Switzerland celebrates International Women's Rights Day by highlighting a crucial theme: investing in initiatives that promote gender equality and women's empowerment. This year, the focus is on the importance of supporting projects and actions that help improve the situation of women in society, whether in education, health, or professional opportunities. It's an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to a future in which equality is no longer an ideal to be achieved, but a reality experienced on a daily basis by everyone in Switzerland.

For example, EPFL is organizing a series of events from February 8 to March 14, including conferences and seminars in French and English. Activities include discussions on women in science, debates on the abolition of patriarchy, and a sign-making workshop. An opportunity to deepen reflection on gender equality and celebrate women's contributions in various fields.

How long does International Women's Day last?

International Women's Day lasts only one day, March 8th, but for several years now the media has been talking about World Women's Day a week in advance. And, like Black Friday, the deals and promotions offered on that day are usually valid for a good day of the week around March 8th. So stay tuned for World Women's Day all week!

What time does International Women's Day start?

Once again we can orient ourselves here on Black Friday Switzerland. Even though World Women's Day actually only takes place on March 8, some shops and large chains celebrate women for a whole week, so Women's Day begins the moment the shops open their doors.

And as far as online shopping is concerned, there are many options, because there are no shop opening hours. The magic of the internet obliges: You can benefit from the offers for International Women's Day as soon as they are put online in the shops, no matter what time.

International Women's Rights Day, key dates

Since 1977, and this every year, the day of the woman takes place on the same date: March 8. But its history dates from long before that and begins during workers movements of the twentieth century. Back on the key dates of Swiss Women's Day and around the world.

  • 1909
    The first Women's Day is celebrated in the United States. It is organized by the American socialist party, which wants to pay homage to the 1908 textile workers' strike that had taken place in New York. The goal of the strike? The revolt of women who protested their working conditions.
  • 1910
    Two years later, the Socialist International, an international political organization that brings together a large number of the socialist parties in the world, gathers in Copenhagen and introduces Women's Day at an international level. The goal? Honor the movement for women's rights, but also achieve universal suffrage for women.
  • 1911
    On March 19, 1911, several countries organized an International Women's Day: Switzerland, Germany, Denmark and Austria.
  • 1917
    In the context of World War I, with its numerous victims, Russian women are on strike to achieve "Bread and Peace" and for their husbands to come home from the front. It is March 8th, the first day of the Russian Revolution.
  • 1945
    The United Nations Charter for the first time announces an international decision on equality between women and men.
  • 1957
    The canton of Basel-Stadt is the first in Switzerland to introduce the right to vote and to be elected for women. On June 26, 1958, in Riehen, the women voted for the first time at community level.
  • 1971
    On February 7, 1971, the Swiss women finally got the right in all of Switzerland ... except in eight cantons and semi-cantons: Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Glarus, Obwalden, Sankt Gallen, Thurgau, Schwyz and Uri.
  • 1975
    The United Nations celebrated International Women's Rights Day for the first time on March 8th.
  • 1977
    The United Nations General Assembly adopts a resolution on United Nations Day for Women's Rights and World Peace. This date should recognize the importance of women as well as the peace efforts in development.
  • 1991
    It was only on April 28, 1991 that all Swiss women had the right to vote at the cantonal level.
  • 1995
    At the opening of the 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing, 17,000 participants and 30,000 activists gather to promote gender equality around the world.

3 things you should know about International Women's Day

On this International Women's Day we would like to inform you of three facts that concern the professional activity of women in Switzerland.

  1. A woman earns 20% less than a man in Switzerland (Source: Femina)
  2. Only 35.4% of women are board members or have an executive function (Source:
  3. 73.3% of jobs that earn more than CHF 8,000 are held by men. 64.2% of jobs that earn less than CHF 4,000 are filled by women. (Source: