Holidays That Celebrate Women


On March 8, millions of women around the world celebrated International Women’s Day, a holiday that celebrates women’s political, economic, and social achievements.

It began in the United States in 1910 after the International Socialist Women’s Conference suggested we celebrate it annually. By 1917, Russia had adopted it as a holiday after women there gained the right to vote.

Since then, other countries such as Afghanistan, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, and more have made it an official holiday. Depending on the country, it is customary for men to give their mothers, daughters, sisters, etc., small gifts or flowers. In other locations around the world, International Women’s Day is considered the equivalent of Mother’s Day.

The holiday is part of Women’s History Month in which the entirety of March is dedicated to recognizing women’s achievements and contributions throughout history.

International Women’s Day is not the only day of the year dedicated to celebrating women, however:

Equal Pay Day

Equal Pay Day aims to draw attention to the wage gap between men and women. The holiday is run by the National Committee on Pay Equity, and the date varies each year. The date represents the wage gap for each year, which is why it changes based on what that number is. This year it is celebrated on April 2nd, which in 2018 is how far into the year women had to work in order to earn what men did from the beginning of the year.

Women’s Equality Day

Celebrated on August 26th, Women’s Equality Day celebrates the creation of the 19th amendment to the U.S. constitution, which gave women the right to vote.

National Girlfriends Day

National Girlfriends Day is celebrated on August 1st and focuses on romantic and friendly relationships alike. A partner may celebrate their significant other, or a group of friends may get together to celebrate the bonds they have created amongst them.

Mother’s Day

Celebrated on the second Sunday of May, Mother’s Day seeks to thank mothers for everything they do for us. It is a day dedicated to appreciating the hard work and unconditional love women put into their jobs as mothers.

International Day of the Girl

International Day of the Girl is celebrated on October 11th and focuses on promoting female empowerment and fulfilling human rights, while also addressing the challenges girls face on a daily basis.

While there are several holidays dedicated to women that emphasize both their achievements and challenges, there is not a single national holiday that celebrates an individual woman. We have Columbus Day (which is a problem in itself) and Martin Luther King Day for instance, but we fail to observe a day for an influential woman.

Several states have taken the initiative in declaring holidays dedicated to those such as Rosa Parks, Helen Keller, and Amelia Earhart, so why are we still waiting for a holiday on the national level? I’m not asking for the country to close government offices or throw a Macy’s Day-style parade, but it would be nice if a few influential women could get a holiday as their male counterparts have.

If we can have a National Potato Day, I’m convinced it’s reasonable to ask for a day to celebrate an impactful woman.