Initially known as the International Working Women’s Day, this day is celebrated every year on 8th of March.
It is celebrated all over the world in honor of all the women and their achievements throughout the years in social, political and financial fields. This day is used to convey love, respect and appreciation towards all the women of the world.
In many places spreading of awareness regarding all the struggles a woman has to face daily are pointed out and examined. Many people wear purple ribbons to mark this day. This day was first held as a Socialist political event in the year 1909.
This combined the traditions and culture of many countries especially in Europe. The Soviet Union declared this day as a national holiday in the year of 1917 after which it started spreading to the neighboring countries as well. Today this day is also observed in various Eastern countries.
- The very first Women’s Day was observed in New York in the year 1909 on 28th February.
- The Socialist Party of America organized it remembering the strike of International Ladies Garment Workers Union which took place in 1908.
- An International Women’s Conference was arranged to take place right before the general meeting of Socialist International in Denmark.
- Luise Zietz, a German Socialist, set forth the proposition of observing International Woman’s Day annually.
- This proposition was seconded by Clara Zetkin, Socialist and Communist leader.
- However no particular date was fixed at the conference.
- Delegates which consisted of around hundred women from seventeen different countries supported this idea in order to promote equal rights for women including suffrage for them.
- On 19th March, 1911, this day was observed for the very first time by people of Denmark, Switzerland, Germany and Austria.
- The people of America however continued to celebrate this day on the last Sunday of February.
- All the women of Russia celebrated this day first time on the last Saturday of February in the year 1913.
- There were various protests and marches held on International Women’s day but nothing happened on 8th March.
- In the year 1914 the International Women’s Day was celebrated on 8th March probably because it was a Sunday and has been held on that date ever since.
- The main goal behind 1914’s celebration in Germany was introduction of right to vote for the German women which they did not achieve till 1918.
- Modern Day Celebration
- The International Women’s Day is a national holiday in countries like Armenia, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Cuba, Georgia, Russia, Vietnam and many more.
- In few countries like China, Macedonia, Nepal and Madagascar it is a public holiday for women only.
- In the other countries, this day is widely celebrated but not officially declared to be a holiday.
- It is a tradition for the men to gift flowers and small gifts to the women who play crucial role in their lives. It can be mother, wife, sister, daughter or colleague.
- In countries like Romania and Bulgaria, this day is equivalent to the Mother’s Day and children give small gifts to their grandmothers and mothers.
- After the collapse of the Soviet Union in Armenia, the celebration of this day stopped. Instead, a holiday celebrating the beauty of motherhood was introduced in the 7th of April. It became very famous among the people even though they continued to celebrate Women’s Day on 8th March.
- The two existing women’s day celebration led to the introduction of Women’s month in Armenia.
- It is a custom for the men to give women yellow mimosas in Italy.
- This flower was chosen by Teresa Mattei as a symbol of International Women’s Day.
- Yellow mimosas along with chocolates are a common gift in Albania and Russia on this day.