Happy International Women's Day | Where It All Started
Updated: Apr 22, 2020
The Month of March is always a fun one because the world celebrates women! While our blog is always about empowering women and helping readers navigate life, we haven't made a huge campaign about the occasion.
Luckily for us though... International Women's Day- the biggest day of them all- falls on the day we actually post! So it was meant to be :)). That's why we're here to give you some history & a link to charitable resources so you know why we're celebrating!
For all the history buffs out there- International Women’s Day can be traced back to February 1908 in New York City. At that time, thousands of women who worked in the garment industry went on strike and marched through the city to protest against their work conditions. According to TIME Magazine, "In honor of the anniversary of those strikes, which were ongoing for more than a year, a National Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time in the U.S. on Feb. 28, 1909, spearheaded by the Socialist Party of America".
Although International Women’s Day started with action from the women’s labor movement in the U.S., it wasn't really a "thing" like it is today. The day actually took on a more revolutionary form in a country dealing with effects from war and food shortages aka Russia (1917).
With the hype from America's protest years before, the Russian1917 International Women’s Day demonstration was held on Feb. 23 of that same year.
FUN FACT: Feb 23rd was the equivalent of March 8 in the Russian calendar, and that's why we celebrate Women's Day on March 8th!
Russian women demanded — and gained — the right to vote in 1917 as a direct consequence of the protests and after more than 40,000 women and men took to the streets demanding universal suffrage. This incredible event made Russia the first major power to enact suffrage legislation for women. (Britain made the change 1 year later and the United States followed suit 2 years after Britain).
Even though the US celebrated the anniversary of the 1908 protests, the celebration of International Women’s Day itself did not hold as much weight through the 20th century as it did in other countries. This was of course due to the political associations with the Soviet Union and socialism. However, with time and advocacy, things always change. The United Nations gave a head nod on the occasion and first celebrated International Women’s Day during International Women’s Year (world conference in Mexico City on the status of women) in 1975.
Though the day is not an official holiday in the US or in most Northern American nations, there is still emphasis put on the cause. As a result, women all over the world celebrate a theme each year that brings awareness to disparity amongst men and women.
This year, the core message is #EachForEqual. The theme draws attention to the idea that gender inequality isn’t only women’s issue, but an economic one – "because gender equality is necessary for economies and communities to thrive". The idea is to reinforce and gain collective action by holding events and talks that urges us all to share responsibility and play our part in advancing the cause. See https://www.internationalwomensday.com/
To date: There are a few companies offering special-edition products and givebacks in honor of IWD, as well as brands that give back to women year-round!
Women have made so many strides with the help of the larger community and while there is still work to be done, we salute all women kicking butt in their day to day lives and industries! On that note...we wanted to wish you all A Happy International Women's Day! We hope that each and every one of us can truthfully band together to be the change we want to see.