Tuesday, 8 March 2011

100 years of International women's day - part four: How it all began

2011
By Syed Akbar* The seeds of international women's day were sown during an international conference of women held at Copenhagen. It was during this conference that a German woman, Clara Zetkin, suggested that there should be an international day of women every year. The participants endorsed the idea.
* The first international women's day was celebrated in 1911 in four countries - Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Denmark. The day chosen was March 19.
* The day was changed from March 19 to March 8 in 1917. Russian women took up the struggle called bread and peace demanding among others voting rights and protesting the large-scale deaths of Russian soldiers in war. The agitation began on February 23, 1917 and the ruler was forced to introduce voting rights for women. In those days Russia was following the old Julian calendar as opposed to the Gregorian calendar followed in many countries. February 23 in Julian calendar corresponded to March 8. Thus March 8 came to be celebrated as
international women's day. 

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