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Origin of International Working Women's Day

Mar 06, 2019

The establishment of Women's Day is accompanied by the development of women's liberation movement. Women account for about half of the world's population, but for thousands of years they have had a sad fate and sufferings. At the end of the 19th century, with the continuous development of the workers'movement, the awakened women abandoned the stereotyped concept of discrimination against women for a long time and raised the banner of striving for women's freedom and equal rights. Clara Caitkin, Secretary of the Secretariat of the International Federation of Democratic Women and editor-in-chief of the German Equality Daily, made the first ever call for equal rights on behalf of working women at the founding conference of Second International in 1889 and pioneered the international women's movement for women's liberation.

On March 8, 1909, women workers in Chicago, the United States, in order to fight for freedom and equality, held a huge strike and demonstration, and put forward political and economic demands such as the right to vote, the implementation of an eight-hour working system and wage increases. This organized struggle fully demonstrates the strength of working women and receives the positive response and support from the majority of working women in the world.

In August 1910, the Second International Socialist Women's Congress was held in Denmark. More than 100 women representatives from 17 countries participated. The General Assembly unanimously adopted the initiative of Caitkin and others to make 8 March every year a festival for international working women, so as to strengthen the solidarity of international working women and strive for freedom and equality.

In 1911, working women in the United States, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Switzerland and other countries held the first commemoration of International Women's Day. Since then, the commemoration of "March 8th" Women's Day has gradually expanded to the world.

On March 8, 1924, under the chairmanship of He Xiangning, a well-known Chinese women activist, Chinese women from all walks of life held their first gathering in Guangzhou to commemorate Women's Day on March 8, putting forward slogans such as abolishing polygamy and forbidding concubinage. After the founding of New China, the State Council of the Central People's Government stipulated in December 1949 that March 8 of each year is Women's Day.

Since its establishment, the United Nations has made active efforts to promote and protect women's rights in order to arouse the international community's awareness of women's issues. In 1977, the General Assembly officially decided to designate 8 March as the United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International Peace.

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