- On the 8th March every year, the world celebrates all the wonderful women that live within it. This is International Women’s Day: a globally recognized day, which has been celebrated for over 100 years.
27 countries (mainly former Soviet republics) have adopted International Women’s Day as a national holiday, and it is widely observed in several others.
SolbegSoft has always kept a good old tradition of congratulating our dear men and women on the holidays. This time, the overall process went a little different: with safe distancing, our Human Resources Team has put much effort into delivering the holiday spirit into each of our homes!
History of the holiday
International Women’s Day was first established at the 1910 International Socialist Women’s Conference in Copenhagen. German women’s rights activist and Marxist theorist Clara Zetkin was the one who tabled the idea.
Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Denmark celebrated the holiday for the first time on March 19th 1911, with the Soviet Union the first to make it a public holiday in 1917. The date of 8th March was adopted internationally in 1921.
In 1977, the United Nations declared 8th March as International Women’s Day, a day each year when the world should celebrate, recognize and remember women and the accomplishments they have made to society. Each year has a theme:
It is often said that the date chosen for International Women’s Day marks a mass protest that took place in New York on March 8th 1857, when women from sewing and shoe factories demonstrated for the same rights as men. Men had recently won a 10-hour workday, but women had been overlooked in the legislation and left on a 16-hour workday. As as a result, 8th March became a traditional day for regular demonstrations in the US and Europe.
However, recent reports have cast doubt on whether this event ever took place, with newspapers of the time not reporting any such march. Nevertheless, the protests are the reason that the United States celebrates National Women’s History Month in March.
Given how the holiday began in Russia, a more plausible source for the date is 1917 when Russian women marched to protest for ‘Bread and Peace’ on the last Sunday in February (which was March 8th in the Gregorian calendar in use in the rest of Europe). This march contributed to the Czar abdicating four days later and the new government granted women the right to vote. It would be three years later before women in the US had the same rights.
Other women’s days
The following countries observe a Woman’s Day as a public holiday, but don’t follow the March 8th date:
On April 17th, this holiday marks the appointment of the first female to the Government in Gabon.
On April 7th, Mozambique marks the anniversary of Josina Machel’s death in 1971. Josina was a key figure in the struggle for the emancipation of African women.
The holiday commemorates the national march of women on August 9th 1956 to petition against legislation that required African persons to carry the pass
This day commemorates the promulgation of a series of women’s rights that were established within the Code of Personal Status on August 13th 1956.
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