International Women's Day 2022

March 8, 2022

We are proud be part of a growing international movement of advocacy and support for women. We recognize the achievements – and honour the struggles – of all women on International Women’s Day (IWD).

In the early 1900s, oppression and inequality were pushing women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. At the International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen in 1910, Clara Zetkin, leader of the Women’s Office for the Social Democratic Party in Germany, tabled the idea of an International Women's Day. She proposed that every year in every country, there should be a celebration on the same day to press for change. The conference of more than 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties and working women’s clubs,  and International Women's Day was born.

The theme for International Women’s Day 2022 is #BreakTheBias. "Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn't enough. Action is needed to level the playing field."  We are all responsible for breaking the bias against women: in our communities, in our workplaces, in our schools, colleges and universities. In 2022, we are committed to calling out bias, smashing stereotypes, breaking inequality, and rejecting discrimination.

Nurses and health-care workers are leading the way and tackling women’s issues head on, whether they are fighting for pay equity with their male colleagues or trying to end violence and harassment in the workplace. Their knowledge, compassion and determination make them fierce advocates for their patients, residents and clients, as well as strong role models for all girls and women.


Need help planning International Women's Day activity? Visit the International Women's Day website for resources and ideas to help recognize and support women in your community. You can also find a list of IWD 2022 events taking place around the world and a searchable online calendar.

Toronto IWD 2022 Virtual Rally: Join the virtual rally on Saturday, March 5 at 1 p.m. EST via Facebook ( or YouTube ( Visit the IWD Toronto website for more information.



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Learn More

  • Learn more about ONA's Human Rights and Equity team and their ongoing work here.
  • ONA has been at the forefront of the fight for equal pay for work of equal value for more than 30 years. Since the inception of Ontario’s Pay Equity Act in 1987, ONA has fought to achieve pay equity for its members. But what exactly is pay equity and why is it important? Learn all about pay equity here.
  • Visit the International Women’s Day website for resources and information about campaigns and events around the world.
  • The Women and Gender Equality Canada works to advance equality with respect to sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression through the inclusion of people of all genders, including women, in Canada’s economic, social, and political life.
  • The labour movement plays an integral role in fighting for women’s equality in the workplace and in society. Visit the Canadian Labour Congress website for background on a variety of topics affecting women at work including pay equity, violence against women and more.
  • Visit Ontario’s Pay Equity Commission website for information about employer obligations around pay equity and other resources.
  • Developed by Canadian historian, Merna Forster, the website, A Guide to Women in Canadian History, is a resource for the commemoration of the role of women in Canadian history. You can learn about women like Rosemary Brown, who was the first Black female member of a provincial legislature and the first woman to run for leadership of a federal political party in Canada.
  • UN Women is the UN organization delivering programs, policies and standards that uphold women’s human rights and ensure that every woman and girl lives up to her full potential.