International Women’s Day

Written by Library in Library Blog on March 6, 2019

March 8th is International Women’s Day! But what exactly is International Women’s Day and how can you celebrate? Read below for more information on this important global event.

What is International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day is a global celebration of the social, economic, political, and cultural achievements of women. International Women’s Day is also a call to action, for governments and citizens alike to continue the fight for gender equality.

When did International Women’s Day being?

While International Women’s Day was not officially recognised by the United Nations until 1975, its origins can be traced back to early twentieth century labour and suffrage moments. In 1908, fifteen thousand women from New York’s garment district went on strike to protest horrific working conditions and low pay. They were joined by other groups demanding suffrage (the right to vote). In 1909, the Socialist Party of America celebrated the one-year anniversary of this march and by 1910 Clara Zetkin –a German suffrage activist– suggested formalizing an International Women’s Day that would be celebrated in every country around the world on the same day.

Why March 8th?

On the eve of the 1917 Russian Revolution, women in that country started a four-day strike for “Bread and Peace” on March 8. This led to additional protests throughout the country. Days later, on March 15, Russian czar Nicholas II abdicated and the new government gave women the right to vote. Russian women obtained voting rights a year before British women and three years before American women did. Subsequently, International Women’s Day has been held on March 8 for many years to honor Russian women’s contributions to the women’s rights movement.

How you can celebrate International Women’s Day today?


Zukauskas, Rebecca. “International Women’s Day.” Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2019. EBSCOhost,

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