Did you know that March 8 marks the 100th anniversary of Women’s Day this year? March 8, the first holiday of spring, which is celebrated with joy in our country. LifeGlobe congratulates all our readers on this event and tells about the history of formation, as well as the traditions of the holiday of all women. International Women’s Day was celebrated in the early 1900’s, a time of great discovery and storm in the industrialized world, with booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. In this article, you will learn about what has changed in the world since the 1900s, what was the role of women in those days, and follow the dynamics of this change. In our time, women in many countries are considered full participants in public life, occupy positions on an equal footing with men and can provide for their families. But this was not always the case, and not everywhere, the situation in many countries remains impartial even today, but the progress over these 100 years has been simply colossal. So, read, leave comments and share your impressions.
There was great excitement and critical debate among women. Oppression and inequality encouraged women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. In 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York demanding shorter working hours, better wages and voting rights.
In accordance with the declaration of the Socialist Party of America, the first International Women’s Day was established in the United States on February 28th. Women continued to celebrate MWD on the last Sunday in February until 1913.
In 1910 the second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. The women nominated Clara Zetkin (Leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ of the Social Democratic Party in Germany) to put forward the idea of International Women’s Day. She suggested that every year every country would celebrate Women’s Day. A conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, workers’ women’s clubs, greeted Zetkin’s proposal with unanimous approval, and thus International Women’s Day was born.
Following a decision agreed upon in Copenhagen in 1911, International Women’s Day was celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. More than one million women and men attended rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, study, and hold government positions. However, just after March 25, a tragic accident at a New York factory claimed the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This disastrous event brought significant attention to working conditions and labor laws in the United States, which became the focus of subsequent International Women’s Days. In 1911 the women’s campaign ‘Bread and Roses’ was also launched.
On the eve of World War I, peace campaigning Russian women celebrated their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. Since 1913, International Women’s Day has been moved to March 8 and this day has remained a global date. In 1914, women across Europe held rallies against the war and expressed women’s solidarity.
On the last Sunday in February, Russian women began fighting «for bread and peace» in response to the deaths of more than 2 million Russian soldiers during the war. Ignored by the political leaders, the women continued to strike until four days later the Czar was forced to resign and the interim government granted women the right to vote. This women’s strike took place on Sunday 23 February on the Julian calendar then in use in Russia. That day was March 8 on the Gregorian calendar.
1918 — 1999
Since its birth in the socialist movement, International Women’s Day has grown to become a global day of women’s recognition and celebration in developed and developing countries. For many decades, the holiday has gained its strength every year. For many years, the United Nations has held an annual conference to coordinate international efforts for women’s rights and participation in social, political and economic processes. 1975 was designated by the United Nations as ‘International Women’s Year’. Women’s organizations and governments around the world have also celebrated it every year on March 8th with large-scale events, diligently reminding about women’s rights and equality in all aspects of life.
2000 to present
March 8 is now an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (women only) , Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. Tradition implies that men honor their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc. with flowers and small gifts. In some countries, International Women’s Day has the status of Mother’s Day, where children give small gifts to their mothers and grandmothers.
The new millennium witnessed a significant change in both women’s thoughts and society’s thoughts about women’s equality and emancipation. With more women in important positions, greater equality in legislative rights and in virtually every aspect of life, it can be said that women have gained true equality. However, women are still not paid the same as their male counterparts, women are still not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women’s education, health and violence are worse than those of men.
However, big improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers, schoolgirls go to university, women can work and have families, women have real choices. The very tone and nature of March 8, over the past few years, has changed from being a reminder of the negatives, to a celebration of the positives.
Every year on March 8, thousands of events are held around the world to inspire women to celebrate success. A global web of rich and diverse local activities connects women around the world through political conventions, business conferences, government activities and networking events. Women’s handicraft markets, theatrical performances, fashion shows and so on are arranged.
A number of global corporations have also begun to support International Women’s Day more actively. For example, on March 8, search engine and media giant Google changes its logo on its global search results pages for several years. From year to year this day increases in status. The United States even designates the entire month of March as ‘Women’s History Month’.
Always make this day meaningful, think globally and act locally! Celebrate International Women’s Day and do your part to ensure that the future for girls and women is bright, stable, safe and rewarding.