Monday, March 8, 2010

Happy International Women's Day

Welcome back! Hope you all had a great spring break!

As you may or may not know, March 8 is International Women's Day. The observance actually had its birth in the American Socialist movement in the early 20th century. As industrialization continued to spread and more women entered the workplace, female workers understandably began to chafe under what they saw as oppressive inequality. In 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. The next year, the first National Woman's Day was observed across the United States. The year after that, an International Conference of Working Women held in Copenhagen was attended by over 100 women representing 17 countries. The conference members unanimously voted to declare an International Women's Day, a day set aside for women in all countries to campaign for their rights and for social change.

Today International Women's Day is celebrated all over the globe. It is a national holiday in fifteen countries. In some countries, the holiday is analogous to Mother's Day in the US. For many years the United Nations has held an annual IWD conference to coordinate international efforts for women's rights. Women's organisations and governments around the world also observe IWD by holding large-scale events that honor women's advancement while serving as a reminder of the continued vigilance and action necessary to ensure that women's equality is gained and maintained in all countries, in every aspect of life.

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