Monday, February 22, 2010

International Women’s Day

While 2011 will be the 100th year of celebrating the International Women’s day, this March 8th, 2010 will actually be the 100th time it is observed. In honor of this day I will feature a couple of countries who observes the IWD over the next 2 weeks.

For starters some historic background:

Women have been protesting for better working conditions and equal pay since the mid 19th century, but the first organized protest took place on March 8, 1908. On this day so-called “garment worker” (women working in the textile and clothing factories) marched through New York City demanding a shortened work day, better pay, the right to vote and an abolishment of child labor. The slogan "Bread and Roses" was adopted, with bread symbolizing economic security and roses a better quality of life.
Two years later an international women’s rights conference was held in Copenhagen, Denmark, and at this conference the German socialist Clara Zetkin suggested the institution of an International Women’s Day to support the garment workers movement. This proposal was approved undisputed by the conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, including the first three women elected to the parliament of Finland. The following spring of 1911 women and men rallied in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland to celebrate the first International Women’s Day.

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