The origin of International Women’s Day

The origin of International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is a well-known and celebrated date in several countries. Many think that the day is a mere tribute to the female gender, but in fact this day goes far beyond that. The date marks a day of political discussions on gender equity in various fields.

Have you ever wondered how this date was created? Well, this article will explain it to you!

How this date was created

International Women’s Day was officially recognized by the United Nations in 1975. However, it has been celebrated since the beginning of the 20th century. A strong movement for women's rights began to emerge in this period, denouncing the precarious conditions that women faced in the work environment and demanding improvements and labor rights.

The first major march recorded at the time was on February 26, 1909, in New York. The working journey used to reach 16 hours a day, for 6 days a week - when you didn't have to work on Sundays as well. This march had about 15 thousand women and was considered by many to be the first North American women's day commemoration.

At the same time in Europe, the class of working women was also strengthened, and the German Clara Zetkin proposed in August 1910 the creation of a day of demonstrations. Clara did not have a specific date in mind, but sought an international mobilization of the trade unionist and socialist class in favor of women.

However, although there was no specific day defined, the intention of periodicity of the date was annual and the first celebration of women's day dates as official took place on March 19, 1911.

Precarious working conditions


At this time, greater quests for equal rights began. The situation of women was much lower than that of men, especially in the labor field. In the following year (1911) a major incident made this situation even more evident: the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. 

About 130 working women died as a result of carbonization, which exposed the precarious conditions faced by the female gender.


In 1917, a group of female workers took to the streets against hunger and World War I. This would be one of the protests that helped give strength to the later Russian Revolution. After the Bolshevik revolution, the date was made official by the Soviets. 

The protest took place on February 23, according to the old Russian calendar, but after the revolution, the Soviets adopted the Gregorian calendar. In this calendar, the equivalent date was March 8, a date that is still considered and celebrated by most countries.

From 1975 to the present day

In 1975, the United Nations finally recognized this date. However, even after more than a century, much remains to be done - there has been much progress since then, but women still face inequalities. That's why the day remains and every year a new agenda is defined and discussed.

In 2022, the theme is #BreaktheBias. According to the International Women’s Day official website “Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn't enough. Action is needed to level the playing field.”

But even if we still have work to do, each of us can contribute to a fairer future.

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