International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day (IWD), celebrated every year on 8th March, is dedicated to celebrate womanhood in every form. The day recognizes and appreciates the worldwide social, political and economical achievements of women.

The observance started as International Working Women’s Day to appreciate the political achievements of women and was particularly celebrated in countries like Russia and other countries of the Soviet Block. But the political significance of the day since then has mellowed down and now it is a day to show affection to the woman of your life.

History of IWD

IWD has great significances in shaping the history of mankind and paving the road for women empowerment. The celebration dates back to 1910 when the day was given international recognition. However, the socialist women of the US started celebrating the day in 1908 itself.

To start with, the day was dedicated to review the social progress made by women and anticipating the future issues.

With the turn of the 20th century, an increasing number of women started entering the workforce but initially their advancements were restricted only to areas like textile, domestic helps and manufacturing where the working conditions were derogatory for women and pay was not exactly at par with the industry standard.

These conditions caused lot of frustration among the women workers and disputes broke out in many industrially developed countries, like the US, Europe, Britain and to some extent in Australia. Demonstrations and protests started to take place and women from different strata of the society took part in them. Some of the major focuses of the movement were on achieving:

  • Voting rights for women

  • Property rights for women

  • Economic and political welfare

  • Rights of working class women

  • Limiting night sifts

  • Introduction of maternity benefits

Timeline of IWD

  • In the year 1908 a large demonstration took place in the United States with demands of voting, political and economical rights for women.

  • In 1909, the Socialist Party of the US observed the day as National Women’s Day (NWD) across the country. For the first time in history, women garment workers went on a strike in the US.

  • In 1910, the second international summit of working women took place in Copenhagen and the day became internationally recognized and celebrated. Around 100 delegates participated in the event from 17 countries. Clara Zetkin, the Leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany proposed the idea of an International Women’s Day.

Some of the prominent leaders associated with the movement were:

  • Lena Lewis, the U S

  • Clara Zetkin, Germany

  • Alexandra Kollontai, Russia

  • Sylvia Pankhurst, Britain

Although modern women have come a long way, there are still miles to go and so, the Women’s Day is still important in a global social context. We can here quote Lena Lewis who said “it was not a time for celebrating anything, but rather a day for anticipating all the struggles to come when we may eventually and forever stamp out the last vestige of male egotism and his desire to dominate over women”. Celebrate Women’s Day and show love and respect to the women in your life and ones around you.

Send International Women’s Day cards to all the wonderful women who are a part of your life and make them feel special.

Happy Womens Day Happy Womens Day Happy Womens Day Happy Womens Day

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