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International Women of Color Day – March 1, 2023

International Women of Color Day is observed on March 1 every year. It was founded by the National Institute for Women of Color or the N.I.W.C., which has since become inactive. The objective of this day is to celebrate the contributions and achievements of diverse women of color. Today, we honor their supporters as well. The day was first celebrated in Washington, D.C. The day is a reminder that all the contributions made by women of color will be recognized and given fair judgment. It is celebrated in the U.S. and is a global event happening all over the world.

History of International Women of Color Day

International Women of Color Day celebrates diverse women of color, their contributions, and their traditions. It is celebrated in 25 states across America and five other countries. On International Women of Color Day, various events are hosted, including the Outstanding Women of Color and Girls of Color awards, where women from different backgrounds are commemorated. This day also celebrates supporters of women of color like men, women, and interest groups that fight against discrimination and racism in everyday life.

The National Institute for Women of Color or N.I.W.C. was established to safeguard the rights of women of color and help them build a supportive framework. Suzanne Brooks, International Association for Women of Color Day C.E.O., worked for the N.I.W.C. for 11 years and helped it grow. This was majorly an initiative of undergraduate and graduate students from Washington State University.

Since 1991, the Annual Community Women of Color Day, also known as the Diversity Event, has been held in Sacramento. This event happens on the first Sunday of March every year, and local vendors attend, and small exhibitions are also held here. Due to the support of advertisers and charity organizations, they can also raise some funds to help women in need. Over the years, more than 250 Outstanding Women and Girls of Color recognitions have been awarded to women in Northern California. Small business owners, organizations, men, girls, and everyone else who helps make the world an equal place is appreciated.

International Women of Color Day timeline

1981
The N.I.W.C. is Established

The institute grows a national network for women of African, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian, Hispanic, Latina, and Pacific Island descent.

1986
International Women of Color Day

The N.I.W.C. announces March 1 as International Women of Color Day.

1988
Ethnic Dresses are Showcased

Affirmative Action Officer of Penn State University, Suzanne Brooks, begins the tradition of wearing ethnic dresses at all International Women of Color Day events.

1991
The First Observation

Brooks organizes the first International Women of Color Day program at California State University.

International Women of Color Day FAQs

Why is purple the color for International Women's Day?

Purple is the color that denotes royalty. The Women’s Social and Political Union adopted purple as the official color in 1908.

What is the International Women's Day theme for 2022?

The theme for International Women’s Day this year is #BreakTheBias. It is about breaking stereotypes and imagining an inclusive world.

Is International Women of Color Day a public holiday?

Unfortunately, Women of Color Day is not a public holiday. Government offices, schools, and transport services operate as usual.

How to Observe International Women of Color Day

  1. Post on social media

    Celebrate your fellow women of color by posting on social media. Make sure to use the hashtag #WomenofColorDay for solidarity.

  2. Make a Spotify playlist

    Several female vocalists of color have delivered hit songs. Make a playlist and put some of your favorite songs by women of color in it.

  3. Read about diverse women

    The internet is a vast archive containing the records of diverse women of color contributions. Go ahead and look them up.

5 Interesting Facts About Women Of Color

  1. Few executive positions

    A recent study showed that out of the 532 African-American women who graduated from Harvard Business School between 1977 and 2015, only 67 of them were able to achieve high-ranking executive positions.

  2. More susceptible to workplace harassment

    Another 2006 survey revealed that women of color are most likely to face workplace harassment among all groups.

  3. Less scope for promotion

    Women of color are likely to receive less support from their superiors regarding promotions.

  4. Less exposure to networking opportunities

    Women of color are excluded from informal networks and do not receive helpful mentoring or guidance.

  5. They feel invisible at work

    Many studies have shown that the statements made by women of color are remembered less accurately when compared to their white peers.

Why International Women of Color Day is Important

  1. It empowers women of color

    This day is important because it reminds everyone that all women of color are amazing in their fields and deserve recognition. It empowers them to overcome their challenges.

  2. It exposes bias

    Women of color face bias on two levels — racial and gender bias. This day helps bring any kind of misbehavior towards them to light.

  3. It celebrates solidarity

    Since this day is celebrated globally, women of diverse cultures come together and show up for one another in whatever form possible. They support and celebrate each other on this day.

International Women of Color Day dates

YearDateDay
2023March 1Wednesday
2024March 1Friday
2025March 1Saturday
2026March 1Sunday
2027March 1Monday
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