International Women’s Day Must be Celebrated as Are Other Holidays!

International Women’s Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women’s Day is marked on March 8 every year. Nowadays this is a major day of global celebration of women.  In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women’s economic, political and social achievements.  Started as a Socialist political event, the holiday blended in the culture of many countries, primarily Eastern Europe, Russia, and the former Soviet bloc.  In many regions, the day lost its political flavour, and became simply an occasion for men to express their love for women in a way somewhat similar to a mixture of Mother’s Day and St Valentine’s Day. In other regions, however, the original political and human rights theme designated by the United Nations runs strong, and political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide are brought out and examined in a hopeful manner.
 

The mimosa (technically, the Silver Wattle) is the symbol of the celebrations of Women’s day in Italy and Russia

History

The first IWD was observed on 19 March 1911 in Germany following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America. The idea of having an international women’s day was first put forward at the turn of the 20th century amid rapid world industrialization and economic expansion that led to protests over working conditions

In 1910, Second International held the first international women’s conference in Copenhagen (in the labour-movement building located at Jagtvej 69, which until 1 March 2007 housed Ungdomshuset). An ‘International Women’s Day’ was established. It was suggested by the important German Socialist Clara Zetkin, although no date was specified. The following year, 1911, IWD was marked by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, on March 19. In the West, International Women’s Day was first observed as a popular event after 1977 when the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.

Demonstrations marking International Women’s Day in Russia proved to be the first stage of the Russian Revolution of 1917.

Following the October Revolution, the Bolshevik Alexandra Kollontai persuaded Lenin to make it an official holiday in the Soviet Union, and it was established, but was a working day until 1965. On May 8, 1965 by the decree of the USSR Presidium of the Supreme Soviet International Women’s Day was declared a non working day in the USSR “in commemoration of the outstanding merits of Soviet women in communistic construction, in the defense of their Fatherland during the Great Patriotic War, in their heroism and selflessness at the front and in the rear, and also marking the great contribution of women to strengthening friendship between peoples, and the struggle for peace. But still, women’s day must be celebrated as are other holidays.”

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About martisima

After over 50 years of teaching literature to undergraduate and graduate students, I feel I have earned my retirement (it happened when I was 72, five years ago). I do miss the classroom, however, but not the meetings and all other requirements of the profession. I love teaching, and wish I could still do it. But now I read for pleasure, and watch films, and listen to all kinds of music (no TV, though). I love to travel, and hope I can resume doing it soon. I need to get over my health issues caused by thyroid surgery three years ago!
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2 Responses to International Women’s Day Must be Celebrated as Are Other Holidays!

  1. Anna Amato says:

    I agree that this day should be celebrated more widely.
    There is so much more to be done. I saw the Egyptian woman who bravely declared that just because she wears a dress or jeans doesn’t give a man the right to slap her or berate her. They are so brave in a culture that demeans them to demand their seat at the table after their revolution.

  2. martisima says:

    And I agree that there is still much more to be done.. It has not been enough!!!

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