International Women's Day (8th of March) is an occasion marked by women's groups around the world and is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.
The first International Women's Day was run in 1911.
This date is also commemorated at the United Nations and is designated in many countries as a national holiday.
When women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development.
International Women's Day is the story of ordinary women as makers of history; it is rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men.

The first International Women's Day
In 1869 British MP John Stuart Mill was the first person in Parliament to call for women's right to vote.
On 19 September 1893 New Zealand became the first country in the world to give women the right to vote.
Women in other countries did not enjoy this equality and campaigned for justice for many years.

In 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named Clara Zetkin (Leader of the 'Women's Office' for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women's Day.
She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day - a Women's Day - to press for their demands.
The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Zetkin's suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women's Day was the result.

The very first International Women's Day was launched the following year by Clara Zetkin on 19 March (not 8 March). The date was chosen because on 19 March in the year of the 1848 revolution, the Prussian king recognized for the first time the strength of the people.Among the many promise he made, which he later failed to keep, was the introduction of votes for women.

Plans for the first International Women's Day demonstration were spread by word of mouth and in the press.
Success of the first International Women's Day in 1911 exceeded all expectation.
Meetings were organized everywhere in small towns and even the villages halls were packed so full that male workers were asked to give up their places for women.
Men stayed at home with their children for a change, and their wives, the captive housewives, went to meetings.
During the largest street demonstration of 30,000 women, the police decided to remove the demonstrators' banners so the women workers made a stand. In the scuffle that followed, bloodshed was averted only with the help of the socialist deputies in Parliament.

In 1913 International Women's Day was transferred to 8 March and this day has remained the global date for International Women's Day ever since.

During International Women's Year in 1975, IWD was given official recognition by the United Nations and was taken up by many governments.

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