(AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND OUT) International Women's Day, 12 March 1977. SMH Picture by DAVID BARTHO (Photo by Fairfax Media/Fairfax Media via Getty Images)

Happy International Women’s Day!

Happy International Women’s Day! A day dedicated to celebrating women and their achievements, and a time to reflect on what we need to do to help make this world a fairer, more equal place.

In the early 1900s, 15,000 women marched through New York demanding voting rights and better pay. However, The International Women’s Day IWD wasn’t officially recognised until 1911, making this year the 106th International Women’s Day.

IWD is spported by the government, charities, corporations, NGOs and networks. “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.” Yass!

Why it’s so important to celebrate this day. Consider the following facts:

-The World Health Organisation estimates that one in three women worldwide will experience physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime.

-In England and Wales alone, two women are killed every week by a current or former partner.

-The World Economic Forum predicts that the global gender pay gap won’t close until 2186.

-In the UK, the 13.9% pay gap meant that in 2016, women effectively worked for free from 10 November until the end of the year.

-The United Nations reports that only 22% of parliamentarians globally are women – that’s a lot of men making decisions on our behalf.

FYI, for the men who are feeling a bit left out, November 19 (internationalmensday.com) and is celebrated in 60 countries, focusing on men’s health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models.

In some countries, such as China, Cuba, Russia, Ukraine, Zambia and Armenia, IWD is an official holiday, where men honour women with flowers and gifts. We’ve compiled a list of how to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March 2017.