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How to Celebrate International Women's Day


International Women's Day - a holiday celebrated annually on March 8 in a number of countries as “Women's Day”. Historically appeared as a day of women's solidarity in many countries in the struggle for equal rights and emancipation. Since March 1975 International Women's Day noted at the UN.

Early 20th Century Edit

On February 28, 1908, at the call of the New York Social Democratic Women's Organization, a rally was held with slogans on the equal rights of women. On this day, more than 15,000 women marched through the city, demanding a shorter working day and equal pay conditions for men. In addition, a requirement has been put forward to grant women suffrage.

In 1909, the Socialist Party of America announced National Women's Day, which was celebrated until 1913 on the last Sunday of February. In 1909, it was February 28th. Later, in 1910, delegates from the United States arrived in Copenhagen at the Second International Conference of Women Socialists, where they met with the famous communist Klara Zetkin.

German Klara Zetkin in 1910, at the Second International Socialist Women's Conference, held in Copenhagen on August 27 as part of the Eighth Congress of the Second International, proposed the establishment of an international women's day. It was understood that on this day women will hold rallies and processions, attracting the public to their problems.

In 1911, the first International Women's Day was celebrated in Germany, Austria, Denmark and Switzerland. March 19th, at the suggestion of Elena Grinberg, member of the Central Committee of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, to commemorate the March Revolution of 1848 in Prussia. In 1912 this day was celebrated in the same countries already 12 May. In 1913, women first rallied in France and Russia on March 2, mass demonstrations also took place in Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Switzerland, the Netherlands on March 9, and in Germany on March 12. In 1914, Women's Day was celebrated on Sunday, March 8, simultaneously in eight countries: the USA, Great Britain, Austria, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia and Switzerland.

Until 1917, women in New Zealand, Australia, Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland received full or partial voting rights.

Celebration in Russia and the USSR Edit

February 1917 was an important milestone in the history of the holiday, since February 23 (March 8), 1917 was marked by a revolutionary explosion, which marked the beginning of the February revolution. Four days later, the emperor signed a decree granting women the right to vote, but this did not stop the revolution. The Petrograd Bolsheviks took advantage of the celebration of International Women's Day to organize rallies and meetings against the war, the high cost and plight of women workers, which took place especially rapidly on the Vyborg side, spontaneously turning into strikes and revolutionary demonstrations. On this day, more than 128 thousand workers went on strike, and convoys of demonstrators from the working outskirts went to the city center and broke into Nevsky Prospekt, along which a procession with the demands of women's equality and bread passed to the City Duma.

In 1921, by decision of the 2nd Communist Women's Conference, it was decided to celebrate International Women's Day on March 8 in memory of the participation of women in the Petrograd demonstration on February 23 (March 8), 1917, which was one of the events preceding the February Revolution, which resulted in overthrown monarchy [ non-authoritative source? ] .

L. V. Danilenko, having analyzed the Soviet publications of the last two years of World War II on the theme of International Women's Day, believes that at that time the holiday was dedicated mainly to “courageous” women who achieved success in “male” professions.

Since 1966, in accordance with the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of May 8, 1965, International Women's Day has become not only a holiday, but also a day off. Gradually, the holiday lost its feminist coloring, becoming the day of congratulations to women, girls, and even girls in the family circle, in the work and school staff.

Celebrating in Other Countries

Since its official recognition in Russia after the October Revolution of 1917, this holiday was celebrated mainly in socialist countries. Chinese Communists have been celebrating it since 1922, and Spanish Communists since 1936. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949, March 8 was officially proclaimed a Women's Day, on which Chinese women work part-time.

International Women's Day Themes Edit

The theme proposed by the UN on March 8, 2019 is “Think Equality, Build Foresight, Develop New Methods for Change.”

Themes of previous years:

  • 2018: “The time has come: Rural and urban activists are changing the lives of women for the better,”
  • 2017: “Women in a Changing World of Labor: Planet 50-50 by 2030,”
  • 2016: “Planet 50-50 by 2030: We Stand for Gender Equality,”
  • 2015: “Empowering Women - Empowering Humanity. Remember this! ”
  • 2014: “Equality for women is progress for all!”,
  • 2013: “A promise is a promise - time for action to end violence against women,”
  • 2012: “Empowerment of rural women - no to hunger and poverty”,
  • 2011: “Equal access to education, training, the achievements of science and technology - the path to decent work for women”,
  • 2010: “Equal rights, equal opportunities: progress for all”,
  • 2009: “Women and Men Together Ending Violence Against Women and Girls,”
  • 2008: “Investing for Women and Girls”,
  • 2007: “Ending impunity in cases of violence against women and girls”,
  • 2006: “Women in Decision Making: Answering Challenges and Making Changes”,
  • 2005: “Equal rights for women after 2005: for a guaranteed future”,
  • 2004: Women and HIV / AIDS,
  • 2003: Gender Equality and the MDGs
  • 2002: “Afghan Women Today: Opportunities and Realities,”
  • 2001: Women's Rights and International Peace,
  • 2000: “Women's Unity in the Struggle for Peace.”

Foreign countries Edit

International Women's Day is a national holiday and a day off in Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Zambia, Cambodia, Kenya, North Korea, Madagascar, Mongolia, Uganda and Eritrea. In Laos - a day off only for women. China provides a shortened work day for women only. In Germany, March 8 has been a regional holiday since 2019 and a day off in Berlin.

Russia Edit

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, March 8 remained the state holiday of the Russian Federation. The celebration of March 8 in Russia includes the established tradition of giving women flowers and other gifts. “Flowers remain the most desired gift by March 8: every second man would like to give them to his beloved, and every second Russian woman would like to receive them as a gift.” Moreover, “the original meaning of this day - the fight against discrimination of the same sex - has long been forgotten,” and as a result, this day is celebrated “just like a women’s holiday”.

Some authors and organizations criticize the perception of International Women's Day prevailing in the territory of the former USSR and the nature of its celebration; in their opinion, the holiday, contrary to its original meaning, promotes sexist stereotypes.

Events held by Russian feminists Edit

Modern feminists regularly hold events on this day on gender equality, emphasizing the need to combat facts such as domestic violence against women, understatement of wages, and other cases of discrimination. In 2014, feminists held a rally in Moscow.

In 1949, a series of postage stamps dedicated to this holiday were issued in the USSR: