History of a day all about women
InternationalWomen’s Day (IWD), originally called InternationalWorking Women’s Day, is celebrated on March 8 every year.
In different regions, the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation, and love towards women, to a celebration for women’s economic, political, and social achievements.
Started as a socialist political event, the holiday blended the culture of many countries, primarily in Europe, especially those in the Soviet Bloc.
In some regions, the day lost its political flavor and became simply an occasion for people to express their love for women in a way somewhat similar to a mixture of Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day.
In other regions however, the political and human rights theme designated by the United Nations runs strong, and political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide are brought out and examined in a hopeful manner.
The earliestWomen’s Day observance was held on February 28, 1909, in New York.
It was organized by the Socialist Party of America in remembrance of the 1908 strike of the International Ladies’ GarmentWorkers’ Union.
There was no specific strike happening on March 8, despite later claims.
In August 1910, an InternationalWomen’s Conference was organised to precede the general meeting of the Socialist Second International in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Inspired in part by the American socialists, German socialist Luise Zietz proposed the establishment of an annual ‘InternationalWoman’s Day’ (singular) and was seconded by fellow socialist and later communist leader Clara Zetkin, although no date was specified at that conference.
Although there were some women-led strikes, marches, and other protests in the years leading up to 1914, none of them happened on March 8.
In 1914, International Women’s Day was held on March 8, possibly because that day was a Sunday, and now it is always held on March 8.