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5 ways Mother's Day is different from International Women's Day

Mother's Day and International Women's Day are two significant occasions celebrated globally, each with its unique focus and ways of celebration.

An AI-generated image of African women walking on a dusty road

Despite their common goal of honouring women, they serve different purposes and are observed in distinct manners.

Both Mother's Day and International Women's Day play crucial roles in highlighting the contributions and significance of women in our lives and society.

While Mother's Day offers a more personal celebration of motherhood, International Women's Day provides a global platform for advocating broader issues related to women's rights and gender equality.


Celebrating each in its context enriches our understanding and appreciation of women's roles across different spheres of life.

Mother's Day traces its origins to the early 20th century in the United States, primarily attributed to Anna Jarvis, who in 1908 held a memorial for her mother and campaigned for a day to honor all mothers because she believed a mother is "the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world." It has since become a day to celebrate and honor mothers and motherhood.


International Women's Day (IWD), on the other hand, has its roots in the socialist and labor movements of the early 20th century.

It was first observed in 1911 in Europe and has grown to become a global day of recognition and celebration across the world for the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, as well as a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

Mother's Day is not celebrated on a fixed date globally. In the United States and most African countries, it is observed on the second Sunday of May, while other countries have different dates, often related to significant religious or historical dates.


In the United Kingdom and some West African countries, Mother's Day is often celebrated in March - on the fourth Sunday after Lent or exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday. The day is also referred to as Mothering Sunday.

International Women's Day is celebrated on a fixed date, March 8th, around the world, marking a day of unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy, and action, regardless of national borders.

Mother's Day specifically celebrates mothers and motherhood, focusing on the personal appreciation and recognition of mothers in one's life.


International Women's Day celebrates all women, regardless of their roles or relationship status, and focuses on broader themes of gender equality, women's rights, and the achievements of women in various fields.

Mother's Day is widely celebrated around the world, but its recognition as an official holiday varies from country to country.

International Women's Day is officially recognised by the United Nations and many countries around the world as a day to advocate for women's rights and gender equality.


Mother's Day does not usually have an official theme each year, focusing instead on personal expressions of love and gratitude toward mothers.

International Women's Day often has an annual campaign theme set by the United Nations or other organizing bodies, focusing on specific issues facing women globally, such as gender equality, women in leadership, ending violence against women, and more.

Mother's Day celebrations

  1. Giving personalised gifts like jewelry, handmade items, or flowers.
  2. Preparing a special meal or taking her out to a favorite restaurant.
  3. Spending quality time together, such as a family gathering or a day out.

International Women's Day celebrations

  1. Attending or organising rallies, seminars, and conferences on women's rights.
  2. Supporting women-owned businesses and initiatives.
  3. Educating oneself and others about women's achievements and issues through books, films, and discussions.

This content was generated by an AI model and verified by the author.


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