March 8 marks International Women's Day, a day to recognize the achievement of women and the struggle for equality.

The first National Women's Day was celebrated on February 28, 1909. The United Nations says it was designated by the Socialist Party of America to honor women in the garment industry who went on strike in New York to protest working conditions. A year later, Socialist International established an International Women's Day.

Russian women first observed International Women's Day in 1913 as International Women's Day became a way to protest World War I, according to the UN. A year later, rallies around Europe were to protest the war. By 1917, the protests in Russia eventually led to that country allowing women the right to vote.

The United Nations designated 1975 as International Women's Year, according to Harvard University. The UN officially marked March 8 as the day to celebrate International Women's Day.

A world conference on the status of women was convened in Mexico City, setting a ten-year agenda to advance women's rights worldwide, according to Harvard. It also designated that 1976 - 1985 would be the United Nations Decade for Women. 

The United Nations says empowering women is a key part of its efforts to address the world's social, economic and political challenges.

There is more than one theme for International Women's Day 2019. The United Nations' theme is "Think equal, build smart, innovate for change." 

"(It) focuses focuses on innovative ways in which we can advance gender equality and the empowerment of women, particularly in the areas of social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure," the UN writes.

Another them presented by the website for International Women's Day is #BalanceforBetter -- working for a more gender-balanced world in all walks of life, business and government. The campaign will run all year long. As motivation, women and men are encouraged to "strike the pose" by holding their hands up to make their body in the shape of a "W" and then share a photo on social media using the hashtags #IWD2019 and #BalanceForBetter.