International Women’s Day means different things to different regions and people. While some may see it as a day to show honor and appreciation towards women, others see it as a day to celebrate achievements that women have made from past years.
International Women’s Day began as a Socialist political event, which was mainly focused in the former Soviet Union. Soon, the day transformed into one where men honor the women who have touched their lives and the holiday blended into a mixture of Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.
Here is a video that shows the way that International Women’s Day is celebrated and observed in Russia, courtesy of “Russia Today”
This year, March 8th, 2011, marked the 100 year anniversary of International Women’s Day!
Here is an interesting article that I found discussing the 100 year anniversary of International Women’s Day. Check it out!
According to this article, many changes have occured celebrating this anniversary:
Female-Operated Flights: Air India and Air France have installed female-only crews for some fights. Air India says it operated a record 22 all-women crew flights in 2010, while Air France says about 7 percent of its 4,200 pilots are women.
Hillary Clinton Initatives: Writing in The Huffington Post, Secretary of State Clinton argued that “women still bear the brunt of poverty, war, disease, and famine. And when it comes to the boardroom meetings, government sessions, peace negotiations, and other assemblies where crucial decisions are made in the world, women are too often absent.” On Monday, Clinton launched a program to empower women and girls across the world through a year-long series of events.
Google Gets Girly: Google has adorned its homepage with a special Google doodle honoring the achievements of women, and partnered with Women for Women International to help people organize Women’s Day events on bridges ranging from the Millennium Bridge in London to the Grand Barriere Bridge linking Rwanda and Congo. If you go to Google Maps Street View today, you’ll also notice that Google’s iconic “Pegman” is joined by a brown-haired “Pegwoman” in a blue dress. But not everyone’s thrilled by the change. “Much like International Woman’s Day, setting aside one day a year suggests the other 364 days belong to Pegman, says The Washington Post‘s Melissa Bell. “Second, if we are trying to celebrate women, why must she be thrown back into a skirt?”
‘Million Woman March’: Women in Egypt staged a “Million Woman March” in Cairo’s Tahrir Square–the epicenter of Egypt’s recent revolution–to demand equal opportunity and a greater role in shaping the country’s future, but CNN reports that the event devolved into a shouting match with male demonstrators. One women’s rights advocate in Egypt points out that no women sit on the military council committee that’s drafting constitutional amendments and only one woman is part of the new prime minister’s cabinet. CNN adds that an overwhelming majority of Egyptian women report being sexually harassed. Elsewhere in the Middle East, activists in Lebanon planned a march against sexual harassment and Afghan President Hamid Karzai admitted that “women are still oppressed” in the country and addressed the contentious issue of the government taking over women’s shelters.”
Here is a time-line of the important dates that made International Women’s Day the celebration It is today:
The first National Women’s Day was observed across the USS on February 28th. Women across the US continued celebrating National Women’s Day on the last Sunday of February until 1913, when the date was modified to the current one, March 8th.
Clara Zetkin, leader of the “Women’s Office” for the Social Democratic Party in Germany, came up with an idea of an International Women’s Day. She proposed that there should be a specific date, consistent throughout the world, where people would recognize the achievements and importance of women, International Women’s Day. This proposal was approved and International Women’s Day arose.
The first International Women’s Day was celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland on the 19th of March. More than a million women attended rallies for women’s rights to vote, work, and overall, end discrimination.
Russian women first observed International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February. In 1913, however, the date of this celebration was changed to March 8th, and this date is now when International Women’s Day is globally observed.
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.
2000 and beyond
International Women’s Day 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. During this holiday, men honor and celebrate the women in their lives: mothers, daughters, grandmothers, and even friends and coworkers.
Here is a page that I have created showing different events for 2011 that celebrate International Women’s Day across New york.
And here are some photos that I have found on the internet showing what International Women’s Day is observed as across the world
Please continue to read on about the very interesting information about International Women’s Day!