* Put women's issues onto the agenda
* Influence public opinion
* Popularise feminist issues
* Assert women's rights and entitlements
* Demand legal, social, economic and political change
* Acknowledge the tiresome work at routine tasks women do without pay
* Celebrate acts of courage and determination of individual women
* Unite at a local and international level to empower women Reaffirm traditional goals
IWD has radical, socialist beginnings and came about in the early 1900s when women organising politically was particularly controversial.
In its early years, because of its associations with communism, limited groups of women got involved. IWD is now a calendar fixture, recognised by community organisations, governments and the United Nations.
Since its beginning, IWD has maintained its focus on the original issues of pay, work conditions and political rights for women. IWD is now used to reflect current economic, legal, political and social concerns. It has recently been used by governments as a day to give awards to women.