International Women’s Day celebrates 100 years of women’s achievements – National sex trafficking | Examiner.com

The centenary anniversary of International Women’s Day is March 8, 2011.  Surprisingly, the day’s roots are deeply entrenched in the Socialist movment of the early 1900’s, when women were seen as the key force for expanding socialist ideologies.  Around the globe, women were taking a stand to have the same rights, privileges, and pay as men, and the time was ripe for social change.

In the United States in 1908, 15,000 women marched in New York City for shorter hours, better pay, and voting rights.  The following year, the Socialist Party of America declared February 28 to be the first National Woman’s Day.  In 1910, the second International Conference of Working Women, held in Copenhagen, led the call for an international day of celebration of women, which was then established for March 19, 1911. Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland were the first to celebrate and honor their daughters, mothers and wives.  The date was later changed to March 8 of each year.

The movement was spurred on by catastrophic factory working conditions in the U. S. and abroad, the suffragette (women’s voting rights) and social reform movements in many countries, and wars in Russia which decimated the male population (1917). This latter circumstance, spurred Russian women to strike for four days until the Czar was forced to abdicate.  The resulting provisional government gave women the right to vote.

Women were being recognized as valuable, competent, and capable of bringing new energy and solutions to complex social problems.  They were also seen as a powerful collective voice that was not to be ignored.

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