From Global Feminist Holiday to #PledgeForParity

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Follow the evolution of International Women’s Day

“International Women’s Day is the story of ordinary women as makers of history; it is rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men,” – the United Nations

Tuesday, march 8, 2016

We saw this day on which the world cheering up for global women empowerment with hash tags like #PledgeForParity, #SheInspiresMe and so on. How you’re going to react, while hearing that we are on the gates of 116th International Women’s Day?

Well, 16 years more than a centennial! Not at all a short course.

So where and when did all this start!

To answer this, we have to date back to more than a century. In 1857, there was a mass protect in NY city by woman textile workers on this same date, March 8. The motive behind this was, off course, poor working conditions in the industry, like 12 hour work per day and low wages.

First IWD Protest

Figure: protect in NY city by woman textile workers on March 8

Next was the turn of socialist woman. They organized a huge rally of more than 15,000 in the same city, but after 41 years later. An interesting thing here was, it happened on the same day, March 08. Apart from increasing wages and shortening hours, they had more demands like the right to vote, and abolishing child labour.

The effect of this second move made several impacts.

It was from Socialist Party of America, a decision had mad to celebrate Woman’s day on March 08 all over the United States.  In the very next year, the first of which was celebrated the nation.

Here comes the main part

It was on second International Socialist Women’s Conference held at Copenhagen, Denmark. This was on 1910. Most of the attendees in this conference, were from trade unions, socialist parties and so on. Quite interestingly, the center of attraction was three woman who were elected to Finnish parliament. Got the reasons for this fabulous welcome? – Simple, there were the first three woman elected so, at a time when few woman had the right to vote.

There is a name to mention here – Clara Zetkin. As a prominent member of German Socialist Party, she took her part well in defending women’s right. Actually, it was US delegates went to propose such an international day for women. But Clara Zetkind beat them all by making such a proposal. She got unanimous support from Women from 17 countries.

1911, was the year when the celebrations gone high. It is estimated that more than a million people celebrated the event on major European countries.

Now International Women’s Day is an official holiday in 29 countries- most of them have anti-capitalist history.

 

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