International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8. The idea of creating Women’s Day emerged in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the United States and Europe, in the context of women’s struggles for better living and working conditions, and the right to vote. On 26 August 1910, during the Second International Conference of Socialist Women in Copenhagen, the German socialist leader Clara Zetkin proposed the establishment of an annual celebration of women’s rights struggles.
The celebrations of International Women’s Day took place from 1909 on different days of February and March, depending on the country. The first celebration took place on February 28, 1909 in the United States, followed by demonstrations and marches in other European countries in the following years, usually during the commemorative week of the Paris Commune at the end of March. The demonstrations united the socialist movement, which fought for equality of economic, social and labor rights, to the sufragista movement, that fought for equality of political rights.
Early in 1917, in Russia, demonstrations of workers for better living and working conditions and against the entry of tsarist Russia into World War I took place. The protests were brutally repressed, precipitating the beginning of the Revolution of 1917. The date of the main demonstration, March 8, 1917 (February 23 by the Julian calendar), was instituted as International Women’s Day by the international socialist movement.
In the 1970s, 1975 was designated by the UN as the International Year of Women and March 8 was adopted as the International Women’s Day by the United Nations, with the aim of recalling the social, political and economic achievements of women , independent of national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political divisions.
In 2008, the UN launched the “Women Make the News” campaign, aimed at stimulating gender equality in world social communication. At present, however, it is considered that the celebration of International Women’s Day has its original meaning partially diluted, often acquiring a festive and commercial character, such as the habit of employers to distribute red roses or small treats among their employees, action this one that does not evokes the spirit of the striking workers of the 8 of March of 1917.