Why it is celebrated on March the 8th?INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAYResearch: Jessica ArteagaThis day – appointed by the United Nations and recognized internationally- is basically a celebration of womanhood, the privilege of being a woman. When women on all continents, divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, assemble to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development. What follows next is a brief chronology of the most important events:
The Socialist International, meeting in Copenhagen , established a Women’s Day, international in character, to honor the movement for women’s rights and to assist in achieving universal suffrage for women. The proposal was greeted with unanimous approval by the conference of over 100 women from 17 countries.
As a result of the decision taken at Copenhagen , International Women’s Day was marked for the first time (19 March) in Austria , Denmark , Germany and Switzerland , where more than one million women and men attended rallies. Apart from the right to vote and to hold public office, they demanded the right to work, to vocational training and to an end to discrimination on the job. On 25 March, the tragic Triangle Fire in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working girls, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This event had a significant impact on subsequent observances of International Women’s Day. *1913-1914
As part of the peace movement brewing on the eve of World War I, Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. Elsewhere in Europe , on or around 8 March of the following year, women held rallies either to protest the war or to express solidarity with their sisters. 1917 – “BREAD AND PEACE” With 2 million Russian soldiers dead in the war, Russian women again chose the last Sunday in February to strike for “bread and peace”. The rest is history: Four days later the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. That historic Sunday fell on 23 February on the Julian calendar then in use in Russia , but on 8 March on the Gregorian calendar in use elsewhere.
Since those early years, International Women’s Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. The growing international women’s movement, which has been strengthened by four global United Nations women’s conferences, has helped make the commemoration a rallying point for coordinated efforts to demand women’s rights and participation in the political and economic process.
Increasingly, International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of women’s rights