HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — People around the world and in Connecticut celebrated International Women’s Day on Wednesday.

March 8 honors the social economic, cultural and political achievements of women globally. The days also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.

At the Capitol in Hartford, a special celebration was held featuring female leaders ,including Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz , Secretary of the State Stephanie Thomas, state legislators, state agency commissioners and other elected officials.

At the celebration, Bysiewicz noted that women make up 52% of Connecticut’s total population, but just 36% of Connecticut government consists of women legislators.

“Our presence here matters – because we desperately need representation at all levels of government, to influence policies that determine if women move forward or move backward,” Thomas said.

State lawmakers also spoke about passing landmark legislation for women in recent years, including women’s health care, that requires coverage for mammograms, biopsies, ultrasounds, mastectomies and reconstructive surgeries.

“It’s one of the first in the nation,” state Rep. Dorinda Borer (D-West Haven) said.

Leaders also mentioned Jennifer’s Law, which expands the definition of domestic violence to include “coercive control.”

Lawmakers said there are many women’s initiatives on the agenda for the 2023 legislative agenda.

“While we have made progress, there’s still much work to do, “ Thomas said.

Kathy Reilly, Southbury, happened to be taking a tour of the capitol building during the celebration. She believes there should be more women leaders in Connecticut.

“I would encourage young women to seek roles in government, and leadership roles so that the voices can be heard…. I think there could be more equality,” she said.

In recognition of International Women’s Day, the lights atop the Hartford Tower Building will be changed to purple at dusk.