What exactly is International Women's Day?

Student protesters march during a demonstration marking International Women's Day in Barcelona on March 8, 2019.

(CNN)Countries around the world will celebrate International Women's Day on Sunday, March 8. The day not only recognizes the achievements made by women, but also brings awareness to the obstacles that still stand in their way.

If you want to get involved or need a brief history lesson on its significance, here's everything you need to know:

When did it begin?

    Although the day wasn't officially recognized until 1977 by the United Nations, the history of the celebration can be traced back to the early 20th century, thanks to labor movements across North America and Europe.
    Members of the women's movement in Russia during World War I celebrated the first International Women's Day on March 8, 1913 to peacefully protest the war. A year later, women across Europe held rallies in solidarity on that same date.
    On March 8, 1917, thousands of women in Petrograd rallied together for "Bread and Peace." This demonstration helped spark the Russian Revoluion.
    Following World War II, countries from all continents began using March 8 as a marker for advocating women's equality.
    Hundreds of women march for abortion rights and workplace equality in downtown Boston on March 8, 1970.