International Women´s Day (IWD), March 8th


The idea of an International Women’s Day (IWD) emerged in the socialist women’s movement at the beginning of the 20th century. The activists around Clara Zetkin wanted to establish a special day for the fight for women’s rights worldwide. Even if the first intention of IWD was to apply for female suffrage, many countries celebrate the day since the introduction of universal suffrage as a day to remind people of gender inequalities in society. After the revolution in Russia (1917), the day was integrated into the socialist theory of society. In the Eastern bloc countries, the day was especially used as a means of agitation for women, while in the Western states in the 1950s and 1960s the day was nearly forgotten. Only the Second Women’s Movement at the end of the 1960s brought about a revival of the day. Until today the two traditions of the IWD coexist: it is an official holiday in Russia (since 1917, and again since 1965), in China since 1922 etc. but only a celebration or a popular event in Western countries.