A day we are dedicated to today’s woman. World Women’s Day is celebrated annually on March 8, in memory of a significant protest on March 8, 1857, by textile workers in New York who demanded better working conditions. World Women’s Day is celebrated annually on March 8, in memory of a significant protest on March 8, 1857, by textile workers in New York who demanded better working conditions. The first International Women’s Day was celebrated in 1909 at the initiative of the US Socialist Party and adopted two years later by the Socialist International.
March 8 was designated in 1977 by the United Nations as World Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace. The idea of celebrating it emerged during the passage of the 20th century, which was marked by industrialization, population explosion, and radical ideologies. The trigger, however, was given centuries ago, with Lysistrata leading a peculiar “feminist” strike to end the men’s war. During the French Revolution, women in Paris demanded: “freedom, equality, brotherhood” in Versailles. The celebration is mainly about the struggles of ordinary women who, with their courage and determination, wrote history.
In the United States, textile and clothing workers were mobilized on March 8, 1857, in New York City for their inhumane working conditions and their low wages. The police attacked and violently dispersed the white women, but the labor movement had already been born. Two years later, the women who participated in the mobilization organized the first women’s labor union and continued their struggle for emancipation.
In 1908, 15,000 women marched on the streets of New York demanding fewer hours of work, better wages, and the right to vote. They adopted the slogan “Bread and Roses,” with bread symbolizing financial security and roses the best quality of life. The US Socialist Party first celebrated Women’s Day on February 28, 1909. Its celebration was instituted in 1910 at the suggestion of German socialist Clara Zetkin during the Second International. After the October Revolution, the feminist Alexandra Kollontai persuaded Lenin to formalize the holiday in the Soviet Union, but until 1965 it remained a workers’ holiday.
The rise of the feminist movement in 1960 has revived interest in World Women’s Day. However, events that mark the occasion of Women’s Day demonstrate the need to promote and honor, if anything, women’s struggles. In Tehran on March 4, 2007, police beheaded thousands of men and women planning a rally to celebrate the day. The dozens of women arrested were in solitary confinement for days. Activists Shadi Sadr and Mahbubeh Abbasgholizadeh released after a 15-day hunger strike. In the wake of the dynamic feminist mobilizations of recent months, this year’s March 8th seems to be a new milestone for the feminist movement on a global scale.
International Mother’s Day is approaching. But how did this World Day get started? The truth is that it hides a sad story. Ann Reeves Jarvis lost her mother in 1905. The loss inspired her to create Mother’s Day in 1908 to honor her mother. This day began to celebrate on May 10, 1908, in the Grafton area of West Virginia, where Jarvis was originally from, and in Philadelphia where he had resided for the past few years. Every year it expanded to other parts of America, until 1914 where President Woodrow Wilson designated Mother’s Day as the second Sunday in May. It’s never too late for an ‘I love you,’ a ‘thank you’ and a hug to the women who brought us into the world. To the women who put themselves second to offer us, their children, more than they could give. In the everyday heroines of the door next door.