International Women’s Day

Observed since the early 1900’s, International Women’s Day is used to celebrate the progress of women, or to point out inequalities that still exist throughout the world.

March 8 marks the 101st International Women's Day. The event aims to celebrate the progress of women while pointing out inequalities that still exist.

A supporter of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, Marlene Vanegas, 72, known as "Little Red Riding Hood," rides on the back of a motorbike holding a homemade signs that reads in Spanish; "Love is paid with love," during a rally marking International Women's Day in Caracas, Venezuela on March 8.

Ariana Cubillos / AP

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and first lady Michelle Obama present the 2012 International Women of Courage Award to Maj. Pricilla de Oliveira Azevedo of Brazil, on the 101st Anniversary of International Women's Day on March 8 at the State Department in Washington. In 2007, Azevedo of the Rio de Janeiro military police, was recognized for her work shutting down drug dealing operations and arresting gang members.

Charles Dharapak / AP

Afghan women perform during a martial arts competition as they mark International Women's day in Herat, Afghanistan, in March 8.

Jalil Rezayee / EPA

Umm Loay combs her daughter's hair at a compound for displaced people in southern Baghdad, Iraq on March 8. Umm Loay works twelve hours a day collecting cans to support her four children after her husband was killed in 2007 during sectarian violence.

Hadi Mizban / AP

Women hold pictures of famous female activists during demonstrations to mark International Women's Day in Belgrade, Serbia on March 8.

Marko Djurica / X01390

A Palestinian woman raises her hands in front of Israeli soldiers while taking part in a demonstration to remove barriers on Palestinian land, to mark International Women's Day, on March 8, in the West Bank town of Qalandia.

Abbas Momani / AFP

Tunisian women display placards during a protest on International Women's Day in Tunis on March 8. The legal status of women in Tunisia is unique in the Arab world giving strict equality between men and women since since 1956.

Fethi Belaid / AFP

Women from the militant feminist alliance GABRIELA march towards Mendiola near the presidential palace to commemorate the 101st celebration of International Women's Day on March 8, in Manila, Philippines. The women marched in protest of US military expansion in the Philippines and the Pacific in response to planned stationing of 6,000 US troops in the region in April of this year.

Dondi Tawatao / Getty Images AsiaPac

Women hold signs as they march through central Ankara to commemorate International Women's Day March 8 in Turkey.

Umit Bektas / X90076

Women shout slogans and hold banners as they march through central Ankara to commemorate International Women's Day March 8.

Umit Bektas / X90076

Hasina, a survivor of an acid attack, takes part in an awareness rally about the violence against women as they commemorate International Women's Day in Dhaka, Bangladesh on March 8.

Andrew Biraj / X02521

Victoria Ochante, 65, carries a bag of plastic bottles collected in a month, before selling them near Lima, Peru, March 6. Ochante came from the highlands of Ayacucho about 30 years ago and has been trying to make a living the past year by recycling garbage, hoping to make enough money for a gynecological operation. Older adults especially women, who do not have retirement plans, are forced to develop such strategies for survival, according to The National Institute of Statistics and Information.

Mariana Bazo / X00023

Alba Iris Franco takes care of her son Adrian in Capotillo, at a slum of some 100,000 inhabitants along Ozama River in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic, March 7.

Stringer / X80002

Samary Rodriguez has dinner with her daughter Saidy in Bogota, Colombia, Feb. 29. Rodriguez, a 34-year-old single mother, has been a professional soccer referee for the past 13 years and is now one of 22 women referees working in the A, B and C leagues. Colombia is considered one of the pioneers in opening the profession to women, with the first woman certified to referee professional matches in 1998.

John Vizcaino / X02467

Women wearing penguin costumes participate in a campaign to announce International Women's Day in Seoul, South Korea, March 7.

Ahn Young-joon / AP

Manipuri women sell local products on a roadside on the eve of the International Women's Day in Imphal, the capital city of Manipur state, northeast India, March 7.

Str / EPA

Kaltoum Yakoub Issa getting a water can to make bricks for her new house in Abu Shouk camp for internally displaced people (IDP), in North Darfur, Sudan, Feb. 21. Nineteen-year-old Kaltoum lost her left hand and seriously wounded her right when her village was attacked ten years ago. Her family fled to Abu Shouk and was helped by International Rescue Committee (IRC). Her parents have since moved away, leaving her and a sister in the camp.

Abert Gonzalez Farran / Unamid / / UNAMID

Girls wearing Peking opera masks look out from behind a screen while waiting to perform during celebrations for International Women's Day at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing March 7.

Jason Lee / X01757

A Manipuri woman works in her restaurant at the Ima market on the eve of the International Women's Day in Imphal, the capital city of Manipur state, northeast India, March 7. The Ima market is one the biggest market in Asia run only by women, reports say.

Str / EPA

A woman sells flowers on a street in Hanoi, March 7. Vietnamese men usually offer flowers and gifts to women on International Women's Day.

Luong Thai Linh / EPA

Hokom Al, a disabled woman, uses her mouth to hang clothes to dry in a rural area in Khartoum, Sudan, March 7. Hokom Al, 45 years old, was born without hands.

Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah / X01806

Migdalia Matamoros, a member of the cooperative "El Recuerdo" from the Federation of Cooperatives of women producers of Nicaragua, rests after working on her field of onions ahead of International Woman's Day in Ciudad Dario March 5. Women in Nicaragua makes up for around 42% of the agricultural labor force.

Oswaldo Rivas / X00871