It’s International Women’s Day today, and people will be celebrating worldwide in honor of the economic, social, and political achievements of women past, present, and future. It’s a particularly special event this year, however: today marks the 100th annual celebration of International Women’s Day.
The idea of an International Women’s Day was first put forward at the turn of the 20th Century, amidst vast economic changes around the world which had led to poor working conditions, and urbanization which fostered the exchange of new and radical ideas. The IWD event had its own quite radical traditions, as its inauguration came after a declaration from the Socialist Party of America. It was attended by over one million people in a number of countries, as women (and a fair number of men) came out onto the street campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, and hold public office.
By 1913, the event had spread to Russia where International Women’s Day was to become a national holiday. Over subsequent decades, the event spread globally, and is now a national holiday in over 20 countries. In many regions, the day also functions much like Mother’s Day elsewhere, where men give flowers and small gifts to their mothers and other female relatives alongside the more political events of the day.
On the centenary of this now-historic day, we thought we’d ask you if you have any historical tidbits to share from your own female ancestors. Do you have any female relatives who broke beyond the glass ceiling in the past, campaigned for women's rights, or just made a positive impact for women in some way in their lives? Feel free to share these in the comments down below, or join the discussion on our Facebook page here.
Happy Women's Day!
You can find out more about particular events happening today here.
March is also Women’s History Month in the US. For more information on this, see here.