Today, we celebrate the International Women’s Day. Do you know the true origin of women’s day, why is it on March 8?
Fire in the Triangle factory
The fire in the Triangle factory in New York on March 25, 1911 was the most serious industrial accident in New York history. It caused the death of 146 people (123 women and 23 men). The event had a strong social and political echo. As a result, the United States government approved new workplace safety laws.
The New York fire is one of the events remembered as the origin of the International Women’s Day but it is not from this that it originates. The strongly political connotation of International Women’s Day, the political isolation of Russia and the communist movement and, finally, the Second World War, contributed to the loss of the historical memory of the real origins of the event.
The Congress of the second Socialist International held in Stuttgart in 1907 set the foundations for starting to talk about the women question. Thanks to a resolution, they started to fight for universal suffrage. A few days later, the Information Office for Socialist Women was founded.
In May 1908, the President of the Office, Corinne Brown, presided over the Sunday socialist conference in Chicago – due to the unavailability of the usual speaker – a conference to which women had been invited. From there we can start talking about a Women’s Day.
The demonstration organized by the American Socialist Party on February 28, 1909 strongly supported the women’s right to vote. They also asked for a salary increase and improved working conditions. Thus was born the first Women’s Day in America.
In 1910, the American delegates proposed during the International Conference of Socialist Women in Copenhagen to establish a day dedicated to claiming women’s rights. In Denmark, Germany, Austria and Switzerland they celebrated it for the first time on March 19, 1911.
Why March, 8?
With the start of the First World War, the celebrations stopped to resume on March 8, 1917 when, in St. Petersburg, women led a demonstration for the end of the conflict.
Here is finally the fateful 8 March: in the Second International Conference of Communist Women of 1921, this date was set for Women’s Day.
Mimosa was chosen as the flower symbol of Women’s Day because it blooms in early March.
The United Nations Agency for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women has announced that the theme for International Women’s Day on 8 March 2022 is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”.
This theme recognises the contribution of women around the world who bear the burden to adapt and respond to climate change and its mitigation to build a more sustainable future for all.
Indeed, there will be no sustainable future without the essential contribution of women.
This year, I think that we shall open our eyes to the plight of women and girls in conflict zones. They are particularly exposed, and victims of all kinds of abuse.
Today, my thought goes especially to the women of Ukraine and Afghanistan.
I stand wholeheartedly with women who are fighting for their survival, their rights, and their children’ rights to live in a better, safer, and more equal world. Equal rights must remain the main objective in all circumstances and in any place.
Unfortunately, there is nothing to celebrate today. Women are still predominantly victims of tragedies and multiple injustices.
What do you think about gender equality? Have you ever experienced any discrimination because of your gender?
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9 thoughts on “March 8, the True Origin of Women’s Day”
I an glad that you have brought out the topic about women on this auspicious day. I live in India where women empowerment began slowly centuries ago but has still not caught up speed owing to a deeply embedded mindset about women and their capabilities. However, today I wish all the women a new beginning with a lot of hope for a bright and happy future.
Thank you for sharing this informative post–truly great! I hope you won’t mind if I offer that there “is” something that we can celebrate today; we can celebrate the indifvidual women who play such important roles in all of our lives–a sister, wife, mother, grandmother, boss, friend, inspiration. 🙏
True I agree on that. Thank you!
You’re welcome! 🙂
A very informative and interesting post. Gender equality is a cause I have fought for and believed in all of my life. I don’t agree that there is nothing to celebrate, for much has been accomplished! Women are visible in positions of responsibility all over the world. Women work in every sector of the economy. It is undeniable that much remains to be done, especially in developing countries. Happy Women’s Day!
But women’s salary is also lower. In my country of origin, Italy, for the same kind of job and responsibility, women earn 9,000 euros less per year.
What a timely and informative post, Cristiana. I agree that we have much progress to make on gender equality. However, I mentioned to my 6-year-old daughter that there was a time when women couldn’t vote or own land and she couldn’t even fathom the concept. So for the little girls who grow up knowing they are equal, we have made great strides indeed!
You asked if we’ve ever been discriminated against because of our gender; well, I don’t know that I would call it discrimination, but I will call it being treated differently in Healthcare. And I’ve noticed that other women, besides me, have suffered similarly. But I think it’s probably worse in Southern states, like where I live than compared to the East coast. I could be wrong…. But my story is that for years-15 yrs, I’ve had what I thought was a sensitive stomach. I’ve had my gallbladder removed, I can’t have nsaids, drink coffee; and in 2018 I lost a lot of weight, had terrible pain in my gut, could hardly eat, told my primary care Dr all of this, and he looked at me like I was crazy. Fast forward to a year ago, and now I have a new primary care provider. I go see him for a referral to a foot Dr, but I was sick, like not normal sick. I tell him I’m worried about my liver or kidneys. I think he just humored me and checked my blood. But my liver enzymes were in the 700s. He called me himself, ran more tests, expecting to see liver damage. Thankfully there isn’t any. I have an autoimmune disorder, don’t know which one yet. I heard of another gal who started getting headaches in her 40s, and the drs told her it was hormones. One Dr referred her to a counselor. She ended up having a brain tumor.
What a story, thank you for sharing!