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8 Things You Didn't Know About Women's Day

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Women’s Day, also known as International Women’s Day, is celebrated on March 8 to commemorate the movement for women’s rights and gender equality around the world. Established in 1909 by the Socialist Party of America in commemoration of the 1908 garment workers’ strike in New York City and the 1909 International Women’s Conference in Copenhagen, it has since grown into an international celebration of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. Here are eight facts about Women’s Day that you might not know about.

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Interesting Facts About International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day, or IWD, is a United Nations-recognized day to celebrate women and their economic, political, and social achievements. It was first celebrated in 1911 and has been held on March 8 every year since then. While it’s widely known that IWD was started by Anna Jex-Blake, a New Zealand suffragist who organized strikes to win better pay for female teachers, did you know that...? Here are some more interesting facts about IWD. Some say there were other reasons for choosing March as Women’s Day — one of them being that it commemorates Clara Zetkin’s birthday (who wrote The Woman Question) and another reason being that it commemorates Emmeline Pankhurst’s hunger strike. Many believe its origins were in North America but there are many other women involved such as Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Louise Otto Roese Van den Bruck, Hubertine Auclert, and Clara Zetkin. Women won the right to vote after 200 years of struggle.

Around the World on 8 March

In many countries around the world, women’s day is celebrated on 8 March. It started in New York in 1909 when women textile workers protested for better pay and working conditions. This protest was known as the Women’s March in New York where they demanded an end to child labor and voting rights. The date of 8 March was decided by a committee who picked it because it coincided with International Women’s Day observed by socialist countries. But some historians claim that it had other roots too, including a commemoration of anti war demonstrations held on that date in 1907 and 1915.

Celebrating Around the World

Women’s day, also known as International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate women. This celebration is held on March 8 every year and it honors women who have changed history in significant ways. For example, some of these influential women include; Frida Kahlo, Marie Curie, J.K Rowling, Queen Elizabeth I, and Oprah Winfrey. The exact origins of Women’s day are unknown but many countries mark it on or around March 8th. In some countries, though March 9th is also celebrated as it celebrates an important feminist movement in Argentina that took place in 1853 when they demanded their right to vote! Although there are so many women that could be recognized for their contributions Women’s day started during a Socialist meeting in New York City in 1907. They decided to make International Women's Day into an annual event that would take place each year on March 8th. Since then Woman’s Day has evolved into so much more than just celebrating strong independent women all over the world but has also become about highlighting how men and women can come together in solidarity to work towards gender equality! Nowadays there is even Miss Universe beauty pageant titled Miss Universe: Earth.

What It Means For Different Countries

Did you know that in some countries Women’s Day is also Mother’s Day? So, let’s pay homage to them both. In Italy, women are celebrated twice! When 8 March falls on a Sunday, 9 March becomes International Women’s Day and women have an extra day to celebrate. Other women celebrate 8 March as Women’s Day and honor their mother at a later date. The idea behind International Women’s Day was conceived by international labor organizations at their 1914 conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. Many women used work stoppages around US factories (the so-called Uprising of 20,000) to demonstrate equal working conditions—better pay, improved hours, more respect from bosses—and that helped birth our modern feminist movement.

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Holy Festival and Women’s Day in India

Though Holi Festival is also important to women, they enjoy Women’s Day on 8 March by putting colorful bangles on their hands and wrist, moreover, women are offered gifts like clothes, jewelry, or even money. The best part of 8 March is that parents don’t have to spend any money for their daughter’s wedding as Women’s day is celebrated with much enthusiasm in India. On Women’s day, people come together and work towards women empowerment and thus there is no woman left behind. Women's day has a special place for women empowerment and it was established so that we can celebrate our country with pride by uniting it through equality of men and women in society.

International Women’s Day Honors Susan B. Anthony

While women’s rights are far from perfect in America, we have a long history of female empowerment. This year is especially significant as it marks 125 years since Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton founded The National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) on March 19, 1869—also International Women’s Day! NAWSA became an instrumental force in helping to pass a constitutional amendment guaranteeing women could vote throughout all states. Over 20 million women participated in voting for Hillary Clinton for president, proving that Anthony and Stanton were right about giving women (and men) equal rights. To honor their work and celebrate International Women’s Day 2017.

The First National Celebration of Alice Paul and Lucy Burns

In 1917, Alice Paul and Lucy Burns organized a march of 10,000 people in New York City to demand voting rights for women. The march led to international Women's Day celebrations all over the world. The United Nations named March 8 as International Women’s Day in 1975. In 1977, Congress officially recognized it as a national holiday for all federal government employees, and women’s organizations rallied all over America to celebrate and support women everywhere. Today International Women’s Day is observed every year on March 8th in more than 50 countries around the world! It has become a day when men show their solidarity with women by celebrating them with flowers, chocolates, and jewelry—and occasionally by skipping work.

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Anna Jantar, Woman Ahead of Her Time

Anna Jantar was a Polish feminist, suffragist, and socialist who fought to overturn many of society’s unjust laws. In 1886, she sent a petition to Tsar Alexander III demanding reforms for women’s rights. When he ignored her, Jantar chained herself to an iron grating in St. Petersburg for 15 days until Russian police removed her. Afterward, she went on hunger strike but was force-fed daily with a tube up her nose. She became so weak that eventually, guards had to carry her away from protest locations on a stretcher. She passed away one year later due to complications of malnutrition. Even though her name may not be as well known as other women’s rights advocates, it is said that she left behind a strong sense of determination among feminists during Russia’s oppressive 19th century. A statue now stands in her honor next to Finland Station where she protested. Today marks 125 years since Jantar passed away—and there is no better way we can celebrate than by honoring women like Anna! Read about more female pioneers here. There are too many women ahead of their time not getting enough praise—it's our duty to change things!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Ghulam Nabi Memon

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