International Women's Day

Article excerpt

INTERNATIONAL Womens Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic, or political. It is an occasion for looking back on past struggles and accomplishments, and more importantly, for looking ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women.

International Womens Day first emerged from the activities of labor movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe. The first National Womans Day was observed in the United States on February 28, 1909. The Socialist Party of America designated this day in honor of the 1908 garment workers strike in New York, where women protested against working conditions. In 1910, the Socialist International, meeting in Copenhagen, established a Womens Day to honor the movement for womens rights and to build support for achieving universal suffrage for women.

The following year, as a result of the Copenhagen initiative, International Womens Day was marked for the first time on March 19 in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland, where more than one million women and men attended rallies. …