March 8, International Women’s Day

Posted: March 2, 2015 in Call to Action, Justice, resistance, Solidarity
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THE ORIGINS OF INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: On March 8, 1857, garment workers in NYC marched and picketed, demanding improved working conditions, a ten hour day, and equal rights for women. Their ranks were broken up by the police.
Fifty-one years later, March 8, 1908, their sisters in the needle trades in New York marched again, honoring the 1857 march, demanding the vote, and an end to sweatshops and child labor. The police were present on this occasion too. (1)

In 1910 at the Second International, a world wide socialist party congress, German socialist CLARA ZETKIN proposed that March 8th be proclaimed International Women’s Day, to commemorate the US demonstrations and honor working women the world over. Zetkin, a renowned revolutionary theoretician who argued with Lenin on women’s rights, was considered a grave threat to the European governments of her time; the Kaiser called her “the most dangerous sorceress in the empire.”

International Women’s Day is a historic day of fightback against patriarchy around the world.

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 International Women’s Day, 2014

International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8th around the world, is a day to commemorate the struggle and honor the memory of working women of the country and the city, feminists, and women who struggle against capitalism. We are daughters, mothers, relatives, friends, and acquaintances of women who have given their lives to the struggle for our rights, justice, and an end to discrimination.

Above all, we are women who reaffirm our unrestricted commitment toward a world without capitalist and patriarchal violence that oppresses women the most. Therefore for Via Campesina, March 8th is a fundamental date for the conquest of our rights. This is how we struggle for a society with new social and power relations, where women and men have equal opportunities, rights, and duties. We remain always alert and firm in the struggle for our rights, our presence, participation, and action within our organization and throughout society at large. Moreover, we struggle for the sexual and reproductive rights of women and demand our rights to access land in a world where women only own a mere 2% of all land…Via Campesina


Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, Alicia Garza

International Women’s Day 2015. Furbirdsqueerly salutes Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, and Alicia Garza founders of Black Lives Matter. Thank you for standing up and out and being a voice of the people in this struggle. To our queer sisters we thank you for showing all of us in the lgbt/q community the way.

Patrisse Cullors of #BlackLivesMatter.

Queerness on the front lines of #BlackLivesMatter.

The battle continues day after day all around the world.

2015 We salute the brave Kurdish Women Freedom Fighters who fight against ISIS.

Kurdistan’s female fighters are making history in their struggle with Islamic State (Isis) militants in Kobani. Reports suggest one in three of Kobani’s defenders are female, fighting under the banner of the Women’s Protection Unit (YPJ), and in fact the entire defence force is being co-commanded by a woman, Narin Afrin. Narin and her troops now stand on the brink of victory having driven IS out of the majority of their strongholds.

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Palestinian women throw stones at the Zionist occupiers during clashes on International Women’s Day, at Qalandia checkpoint in the West Bank, Palestine, March 8, 2014. (Photos: Majdi Mohammed / AP Photo)

Our Trans Sisters Murdered in 2015. We must in the LGBT/Q family fight like hell for our sisters.

Lamia Beard, 30 Norfolk, VA.

Taja DeJeus, 36, San Francisco, CA

Penny Proud, 21, New Orleans, LA

Ty Underwood, 24, North Tyler, TX.

Uazmin Vash Payne, 33, Los Angeles, CA.

B. Golec, 22, Akron, Ohio

Kristina Gomez Reinwald, 46, Miami FL.

About International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day has been observed since in the early 1900’s, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.

Great unrest and critical debate was occurring amongst women. Women’s oppression and inequality was spurring women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. Then in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.

In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman’s Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on 28 February. Women continued to celebrate NWD on the last Sunday of February until 1913.

n 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named a Clara Zetkin (Leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day – a Women’s Day – to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women’s clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Zetkin’s suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women’s Day was the result.

Following the decision agreed at Copenhagen in 1911, International Women’s Day (IWD) was honoured the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination. However less than a week later on 25 March, the tragic ‘Triangle Fire’ in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This disastrous event drew significant attention to working conditions and labour legislation in the United States that became a focus of subsequent International Women’s Day events. 1911 also saw women’s ‘Bread and Roses’ campaign.

On the eve of World War I campaigning for peace, Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. In 1913 following discussions, International Women’s Day was transferred to 8 March and this day has remained the global date for International Women’s Day ever since. In 1914 further women across Europe held rallies to campaign against the war and to express women’s solidarity.

On the last Sunday of February, Russian women began a strike for “bread and peace” in response to the death over 2 million Russian soldiers in war. Opposed by political leaders the women continued to strike until four days later the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. The date the women’s strike commenced was Sunday 23 February on the Julian calendar then in use in Russia. This day on the Gregorian calendar in use elsewhere was 8 March.

1918 – 1999
Since its birth in the socialist movement, International Women’s Day has grown to become a global day of recognition and celebration across developed and developing countries alike. For decades, IWD has grown from strength to strength annually. For many years the United Nations has held an annual IWD conference to coordinate international efforts for women’s rights and participation in social, political and economic processes. 1975 was designated as ‘International Women’s Year’ by the United Nations. Women’s organisations and governments around the world have also observed IWD annually on 8 March by holding large-scale events that honour women’s advancement and while diligently reminding of the continued vigilance and action required to ensure that women’s equality is gained and maintained in all aspects of life.

2000 and beyond
IWD is now an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.

The new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women’s and society’s thoughts about women’s equality and emancipation. Many from a younger generation feel that ‘all the battles have been won for women’ while many feminists from the 1970’s know only too well the longevity and ingrained complexity of patriarchy. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women’s visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women’s education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men.

(1) Jewish Currents, Activists Politics and Art. March 8th Jewish Working Women Take Action.





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