There is no doubt that women’s journey toward equal rights has been long and tough, but the efforts of women all over the world have brought fruitful results while the journey continues. To recognize their achievements and bring many women related issues to the spotlight, the world celebrates International Women’s Day on March 8 every year.
But how the celebration of this day has started, when was the first official celebration, and how women all over the world celebrate their special day. Let’s find out!
How Did It Start?
The first time a proposition for women day was presented in 1909 by the Socialite Party of America. It was celebrated on February 28 and was given the name ‘National Women Day’, the celebration came to honor women who protested against working conditions and demanded better pay in the 1908 New York garment worker’s strike.
The Spread to Europe
Then in 1910 the celebration of ‘women Day’ has spread to reach Europe. In the International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen, Clara Zetkin (a leader in the German Social Democratic party) suggested that every year and on the same day all countries must celebrate ‘a Special Women’s Day’. The purpose of the celebration was to highlight women’s different demands.
Her suggestion was applauded by all women present at the conference, and for the first time Women’s International Day was celebrated on March 19 in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland.
As a form of celebration, millions of women and men attended debates that discussed women’s rights to vote, work, and to hold public office.
In 1913 Russian women have witnessed their first celebration of International Women’s Day on February 23 that marked March 8 on the Georgian calendar. The celebration was on the eve of World War I and served the sole purpose of campaigning for peace.
Later, International Women’s Day was set to be on March 8, and in 1914 women all over Europe have expressed their solidarity and organized protests against the raging war.
Three years later, on March 8, 1917, and in light of the war, Russian women organized many protests against the war in what was later referred to as ‘Women Strike for Bread and Peace’. Due to the strikes, the government has granted Russian women the right to vote.
On March 8, 1975, the United Nations celebrated International Women’s Day for the first time. Later in 1996, the UN stated their first International Women’s Day theme to be “celebrating the past, planning for the Future’’, while the theme in the following year was ‘’women at the peace table’’. Each year has a different theme as the celebration of Women’s Day continues.
2021’s theme was ‘’choose to challenge’’. It urges women to stand against gender bias and stop inequality. As International Women’s Day stated ‘’ from challenge comes change’’.
How Women’s Day Is celebrated Around the World?
International Women’s Day is an official holiday in many countries. While in the United States the whole month of March has been dedicated to women under the name ‘’ Women’s History Month’’. In Italy, women receive yellow mimosa flowers on this special day.
Many women around the world celebrate by organizing protests and marches to address challenges, express solidarity with other women, and call out inequality.