Evolution of March 8 as International Women Day
(March 8,2017 – Toronto) It is unlikely to find someone in the cyber world who is does not know that today (March 8) is International Women’s day. Question is how many of us are aware about the history of it and how it evolved?
The history goes back to the second half of the 19th century. Many many decades after the American Revolution ( it is also referred to as American War of Independence), the Status of women in the United States lacked essentially all forms of freedom.
Women were not assuming role and positions in the society and were restricted to domestic work. Those who worked mostly had jobs in the manufacturing sector. On March 8,1957 , women working in factories in New York staged a strike to protest poor working conditions including long working hours and low payment. That is how the struggle for the equality and freedom of women started. In a little less than a decade, there was already a resolution on Women’s professional work.
Socialists in Europe and elsewhere were active in promoting women’s right there after. The first Women’s Day was organized by Socialists in New York, United States, in 1907 and they demanded political rights for working women. But the day was organized in February, not March 8.
Clara Zetkin , German Marxist and Women’s right advocate, called for the celebration of Women’s day annually internationally ( International Women’s Day ) to honour women who struggled for equality. That was in 1910.
On March 19 of the following year, the first International Women Day was celebrated in four European countries – namely – Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. It was celebrated in a rally and over a million woman took part in it. Political demands in the rally were,among other things, right to elect and be elected for office,right to work, training and an end to discrimination – like in the form of different pay rates for same work. Later the day was changed to March 8. The revolutionary situation in Russia which later led to the overthrow of Tsarist Monarchy and the Outbreak of the Great October Socialist Revolution had a positive influence in the women’s struggle for equal rights.
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