“Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.” Genesis 2:21-23
March 8th (8 марта) pronounced ‘Marta’ is very well revered in Russia. It is the day exclusively set aside for women, and the men go out of their way to make it special. Actually it turns out even more special than the women’s respective birthdays. Wives, Mothers and Daughters get bunches of roses first thing in the morning as the festivities of the day progresses.
The first national Women’s Day was observed on 28 February 1909 in the United States following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America. In August 1910, an International Women’s Conference was organized to precede the general meeting of the Socialist Second International in Copenhagen. Inspired in part by the American socialists, German Socialist Luise Zietz proposed the establishment of an annual ‘International Woman’s Day’ (singular) and was seconded by Clara Zetkin, although no date was specified at that conference. Delegates (100 women from 17 countries) agreed with the idea as a strategy to promote equal rights, including suffrage, for women. The following year, on 18 March, 1911, IWD was marked for the first time, by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. In the Austro-Hungarian Empire alone, there were 300 demonstrations. In Vienna, women paraded on the Ringstrasse and carried banners honouring the martyrs of the Paris Commune. Women demanded that women be given the right to vote and to hold public office. They also protested against employment sex discrimination. Americans continued to celebrate National Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February.
Female members of the Australian Builders Labourers Federation march on International Women’s Day 1975 in Sydney
In 1913 Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February (by Julian calendar then used in Russia). In 1917 demonstrations marking International Women’s Day in Saint Petersburg on the last Sunday in February (which fell on 8 March on the Gregorian calendar) initiated the February Revolution.
The UN theme for International Women’s Day 2012 is Empower Women – End Hunger and Poverty. In many countries, International Women’s Day is an occasion to honor and praise women for their accomplishments. In 2012, Oxfam America is inviting people to celebrate inspiring women in their lives by sending a free International Women’s Day e-Card or honoring a woman whose efforts make a difference in the fight against hunger and poverty with Oxfam’s International Women’s Day award.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2012, the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) is calling for more action to help the mothers and wives of people who have gone missing during armed conflict. The vast majority of people who go missing in connection with conflict are men. As well as the anguish of not knowing what has happened to the missing person, many of these women face economic and practical difficulties. The ICRC underlines the duty of parties to a conflict to search for the missing and provide information for the families.
The Google Doodle for March 8, 2012 had an International Women’s Day theme.
To those ladies who wrote to remind and chastise me for not acknowledging this remarkable day. Я прошу прощения (Ya proshu prashenia)Translation: I ask your forgiveness. Enjoy this remarkable day and together let us cherish the blessing of being ‘born this way’.
Поздравление с Днем женщин (Pazdrablenie c dnyom shjenshina) Congratulating you on Women’s day!