Know Why We Celebrate International Women’s Day & How It Evolved Over The Years

Sudhanva Shetty

March 8th, 2018 / 9:56 AM

International Womens Day

Image Source: brynmawr

International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 every year. Originally called International Working Women’s Day, IWD commemorates the struggle for women’s rights.


History of IWD

On 8 March 1917 in Petrograd (capital of the Russian Empire) thousands of women textile workers protested across the city. This was the beginning of the Russian Revolution. Seven days later, the Emperor of Russia, Nicholas II, abdicated and the provisional government granted women the right to vote. The women’s march was a crucial point in Russian history – and, consequently, world history – as it led to the toppling of monarchy and shook the global political order.

The earliest Women’s Day observance was held on 28 February 1909 in New York where women were protesting against dire working conditions. In 1917, March 8 was declared a national holiday in Russia. IWD was mainly celebrated in communist countries until 1975 when it was adopted by the United Nations. Even then, IWD was concentrated among labour movements around the world. It was not until the turn of the twentieth century that the day became a national observance.


Timeline

  • 1909 – The first “National Woman’s Day” was observed in the United States on 28 February. The Socialist Party of America designated this day in honour of the 1908 garment workers’ strike in New York, where women protested against working conditions.
  • 1910 – The Socialist International established a Women’s Day, international in character, to honour the movement for women’s rights and to build support for achieving universal suffrage for women. The proposal was greeted with unanimous approval by the conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, which included the first three women elected to the Finnish Parliament. No fixed date was selected for the observance. This happened in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • 1911 – As a result of the Copenhagen initiative, IWD was marked for the first time (19 March) in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. More than one million women and men attended rallies. In addition to the right to vote and to hold public office, they demanded women’s rights to work, universal suffrage, and an end to gender discrimination.
  • 1913-1914 – IWD became a mechanism for protesting the First World War. As part of the peace movement, Russian women observed their first IWD on the last Sunday in February. Elsewhere in Europe, women held rallies either to protest the war or to express solidarity with other activists.
  • 1917 – Against the backdrop of the War, women in Russia again chose to protest and strike for “Bread and Peace” on the last Sunday in February (which fell on 8 March on the Gregorian calendar). This sparked a chain of events which precipitated into the February Revolution (first of the two Russian Revolutions in 1917).
  • 1975 – The United Nations began celebrating IWD on 8 March.

 


Contributors

Written by :

Edited by :

Related Stories

Constitution-Day Ambedkar

Constitution Day: A Day To Celebrate Ambedkar, His Ideas And The Supreme Document

After UGC, J&K Govt Orders Schools To Celebrate ‘Surgical Strike Day’

Surgical Strike Day

UGC Orders Universities To Celebrate “Surgical Strike Day In Befitting Manner”, Javadekar Says It’s Not A Compulsion

This Woman’s Day, Let Us Celebrate The Women In Our Lives

CRPF Molestation

Chhattisgarh: CRPF Jawans Came To Celebrate Raksha Bandhan At School, Accused Of Molestation

International Womens Day

Know Why We Celebrate International Women’s Day & How It Evolved Over The Years

Latest on The Logical Indian

Exclusive

Two Manipuri Transgenders Raped At Knifepoint In Bengaluru; Three Arrested

News

With NDA Predicted To Win 2019 General Elections, Know All About Exit Polls

Get Inspired

Reverse Migration: “How I Went From Earning Just Rs 3,000 Per Month To Buying A Car Of Mine Own”

News

With NDA Predicted To Win 2019 General Elections, Know All About Exit Polls

News

Rajasthan: Three Minors Allegedly Rape 15-Year-Old Girl; Girl’s Family Lynches One Accused

News

Bihar: Cow Vigilantes Thrash Suspected Cattle Smugglers; Police Comes To Rescue, Mob Assaults Them Too

x

Stories that deserve attention, delivered to your inbox!

Handpicked, newsworthy stories which deserve the attention of a rational generation.