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International Women's Day

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1 International Women's Day on Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:45 am

Fuarie

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International Women's Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women’s Day is marked on the 8th of March every year.[1] It is a major day of global celebration of women. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women's economic, political and social achievements.

Started as a Socialist political event, the holiday blended in the culture of many countries, primarily Eastern Europe, Russia, and the former Soviet bloc. In many regions, the day lost its political flavour, and became simply an occasion for men to express their love for women in a way somewhat similar to a mixture of Mother's Day and St Valentine's Day. In other regions, however, the original political and human rights theme designated by the United Nations runs strong, and political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide are brought out and examined in a hopeful manner.
Female members of the Australian Builders Labourers Federation march on International Women's Day 1975 in Sydney
The mimosa (technically, the Silver Wattle) is the symbol of the celebrations of Women's day in Italy and Russia

The first IWD was observed on 19 March 1911 in Germany following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America. The idea of having an international women's day was first put forward at the turn of the 20th century amid rapid world industrialization and economic expansion that led to protests over working conditions[citation needed]

In 1910, Second International held the first international women's conference in Copenhagen (in the labour-movement building located at Jagtvej 69, which until recently housed Ungdomshuset). An 'International Women's Day' was established. It was suggested by the important German Socialist Clara Zetkin, although no date was specified.[2] The following year, 1911, IWD was marked by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, on March 19.[3] In the West, International Women's Day was first observed as a popular event after 1977 when the united Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for Women's Rights and International Peace.[citation needed]

Demonstrations marking International Women's Day in Russia proved to be the first stage of the Russian Revolution of 1917.[citation needed]

Following the October Revolution, the Bolshevik Alexandra Kollontai persuaded Lenin to make it an official holiday in the Soviet Union, and it was established, but was a working day until 1965. On May 8, 1965 by the decree of the USSR Presidium of the Supreme Soviet International Women's Day was declared a non working day in the USSR "in commemoration of the outstanding merits of Soviet women in communistic construction, in the defense of their Fatherland during the Great Patriotic War, in their heroism and selflessness at the front and in the rear, and also marking the great contribution of women to strengthening friendship between peoples, and the struggle for peace. But still, women's day must be celebrated as are other holidays."

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