More than 200 hospitals across Italy marked the day by offering free medical check-ups and consultations to women with the aim of promoting gynaecological health.
Meanwhile, Italy’s Ministry of Culture offered free entry to national museums and other cultural sites for women across the country.
While many initiatives aimed to celebrate how far women have come, others reminded us of how much more needs to be done.
Masses of women gathered in Italian squares and streets, while actor Asia Argento, one of the first to go public with assault allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, spoke at an event in Rome.
“It’s time to join our voices,” Ms Argento said, calling for greater focus on women’s rights.
In Milan, women took part in an International Women’s Day march promoted by students and the ‘Non Una Di Meno’ movement.
The demonstrators launched eggs filled with pink paint at banks.
‘Non Una Di Meno’, which translates as “Not One [Woman] Less”, is Italy’s equivalent of the ‘Me Too’ movement that was born out of the string of sexual harassment and rape revelations against Harvey Weinstein and other men in the entertainment industry.
The movement was also linked to myriad strikes which unfolded across the nation, disrupting traffic in Rome and largely affecting the transport, education and health sectors.
Many women involved in the strikes and protests came together to fight violence against women and femicide, a growing epidemic in Italy.
Some 121 women were murdered in Italy in 2017, and 46 per cent of those were killed by partners or ex-partners, police magazine Poliziamoderna reported on Wednesday.
Just last week, an Italian woman was critically injured when her husband, policeman Luigi Capass, shot her before shooting dead their two daughters and then turning the gun on himself.
The woman, Antonietta Gargiullo from the central Italian region of Lazio, was in the process of separating from her husband and had previously reported him to police for violence.
Ms Gargiullo only recently woke from a coma in a Rome hospital, and was told by a team of family members and psychologists that her daughters had been murdered.
She remains in intensive care and will not be able to attend her daughters’ funeral on Friday.
Speaking with Italian news agency ANSA, lawyer Rita Mione of the Women Difference Association highlighted the need for an entire upheaval of societal standards to combat violence against women in Italy.
“In order to fight violence against women no new laws are needed, but [rather] a cultural revolution, more anti-violence centres and more training for those who come into contact with victims, from doctors to police,” she declared.