International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day, celebrated every year on March 8, is always an occasion to reflect on the status of women around the world. Rather than bemoaning the poor performers, we’ve decided to take a look at the good practices of some countries that are leading the way towards greater equality between men and women.

Iceland, master of gender equality

As well as being one of the few countries to have elected a female president, Iceland is a model of parity and gender equality. In 1975, a large number of the island’s women went on strike on October Day, and the men realized the importance of women in the running of society. While the event itself didn’t change everything, it did leave its mark on people’s minds and pushed Icelandic society in the right direction. Anecdotally, during this strike day, hot dog sales soared because the men didn’t know how to cook properly for their children.

Denmark, a happiness of equality

Denmark may not be at the top of the league table, but it’s doing very well when it comes to gender equality. The issue is a genuine government priority, and efforts are being made on a regular basis. In particular, the country is known for its very good and flexible maternity leave policy. Not to be underestimated, Denmark returns every year as one of the world’s happiest and most livable countries, according to the World Happiness Report.

Norway, politically yours

Norway, like its counterparts in Eastern Europe, tops the list of the most gender-equal countries. But where Norway breaks all records is in politics. Parity is almost perfect, and the trend is often the opposite of that in the rest of Europe. Indeed, there have very often been more women than men in the Norwegian government. Equality of family duties is also one of Norway’s great strengths. When a child is born, men are also obliged to take 1 month’s paternity leave, failing which their wives’ maternity leave will be withdrawn. Fathers are involved in their children’s education from an early age.

Italy, the mimosa in the spotlight

In Italy, International Women’s Day, or Festa della Donna, is celebrated with the gift of mimosa flowers. UDI (Unione Donne in Italia), the Italian women’s union, was founded in Rome in September 1944. It was this association that chose the mimosa as the symbol of Women’s Day, as it was one of the cheapest flowers available. Also considered a symbol of feminine strength, bouquets of mimosa are often offered between women as a sign of female solidarity.

How is Women’s Day celebrated in the rest of the world?


Women’s Day is celebrated in Russia and Belarus. Men give gifts to their wives, mothers and sometimes even colleagues. The children also bring flowers to the mothers and teachers. If Women’s Day is celebrated in the family, festive meals are organized.


Many employers use this day to express their gratitude to their employees. Working women are usually granted a half-day off or simply a shorter working day. It’s also becoming increasingly popular for employers to give small gifts to their employees. Another way of celebrating Women’s Day in China is the large number of product discounts offered to women on the day.

The United States

International Women’s Day is not a holiday in the United States, although March is considered Women’s History Month. A presidential proclamation issued each year honors the achievements of American women.

The United Kingdom

Held over three days in London, including International Women’s Day, the Women of the World festival brings together speakers, activists and artists to tackle the issues facing women around the world.


The day is punctuated by marches through several cities, particularly Santiago, Chile‘s capital, during which demonstrators also wear green handkerchiefs to symbolize their support for sexual and reproductive rights. Songs, drum rolls and elaborate costumes are the order of the day.

African countries

Africa celebrates International African Women’s Day on July 31. It’s an event that’s been around for almost 60 years. This day is an opportunity to take stock of the situation of women on the African continent. Rwanda stands out from the rest, with 61% of its members of parliament being women.

Why not take a trip to one of these countries?

If this article has inspired you to travel to one of these countries, take advantage of our TravelPass travel insurance for a safe trip abroad. You can also find travel information about these countries on our website.

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