International Women's Day

Events and activities to celebrate International Women's Day will be happening on or around 8 March across the Northern Territory in 2023.

The United Nations theme for International Women’s Day 2023 is ‘Cracking the Code: Innovation for a gender equal future'. Find out more on the International Women's Day website

‘Cracking the Code’ focusses on the role that bold, transformative ideas, inclusive technologies, and accessible education can play in combatting discrimination and the marginalisation of women globally.

Innovation can be a driver of change and can provide new solutions and pathways through the barriers to equality.


The Office of Gender Equity and Diversity provides grants each year to support activities, projects and celebrations for International Women’s Day across the NT.

Grants open in October and close in November each year.

To read more about International Women’s Day grants eligibility and how to apply, go to the Northern Territory Government website.

History of International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day (IWD) is observed around the world each year on 8 March by people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds.

It grew out of women’s struggle for better working conditions and the right to vote into a movement that sought equality and justice for all women.

More recently, it has become a time to celebrate change, to reflect on the progress that has been made, and to assert women’s political, social and economic rights.

The first acknowledged IWD was held in March 1911, after over 100 women from 17 countries unanimously decided to honour the women’s rights movement at the 1910 Second International Conference of Socialist Women in Copenhagen. Other countries followed in a similar fashion, by arranging events in February or March.

The first public event to take place in Australia was an IWD march. Held in Sydney, on 25 March 1928, the march featured a demand for equal pay. In 1929, rallies also took place in Sydney and Brisbane.

The women’s movement strengthened over time with International Women’s Day events spreading across Australia. IWD was first officially recognised by the Australian Government in 1974. The United Nations officially observed International Women’s Year in 1975. In 1977, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming 8 March to be United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace. Since then, four global United Nations women’s conferences have been held, two of which were attended by a delegation of Northern Territory women.

Territory women have regularly celebrated IWD since 1976. Events vary across the regions and often include exhibitions, marches, social gatherings, public events, speakers, films, poetry readings, song and dance.

The colours of green, white and violet are often associated with the women’s movement. These colours were first used by the English Suffragettes and symbolised Giving Women the Vote. Green is said to represent hope, white purity and, violet justice.

Each year, UN Women Australia releases an International Women’s Day theme, read more about it on the UN Women Australia website.

Last updated: 02 November 2022

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