The March 8 marks the International Women’s Day, a date that achievements in the fight for equality for women, both politically as economic and social take place. It is also a protest day on the feminist agenda in which the milestones achieved and the remaining challenges are remembered: from achieving pay equity to eradicate violence against women, to break down the barriers of many girls to access school or increase the presence of women in political, legislative and executive bodies.
The 8 March is national holiday in some countries like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria and has its institutional origins in August 1910, at the Second International Conference of Socialist Women, held in Copenhagen, Denmark. In this meeting “a resolution which stated one day a year as International Women’s Day was adopted, and this would be a day to campaign for the right of women to vote and the political emancipation of women” as stated in the history of the Socialist International Women .The driving was the German communist Clara Zetkin , and, after being adopted by more than 100 women from 17 countries, the first March 8 (one March 11, actually) took place in 1911 with more than a million people demonstrating for the streets of Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Denmark.
Triangle Factory fire in New York Shirtwais
Choosing the March was not a random decision. It was a symbolic date in the fight for women’s rights in the US, particularly in New York. In March 1908, more than 15,000 people demanded on the streets of the Big Apple better pay, voting rights, reduced working hours and decent working conditions. They were the heirs of the New York textile workers already in 1857, also in March, began to mobilize for their labor rights to create their own unions two years later.
Protests March 1911 were backed by the tragic Triangle Factory fire in New York Shirtwais , in which 25 died this month 146 workers, mostly women, due to lack of safety measures. This event was the germ of the Union of Garment Workers, one of the most influential US
During World War and the Soviet Revolution, this date was chosen so that women were positioned together against tyranny and for peace and equality.
In 1977 the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN ) declared March 8 as International Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.
Claims in Arab countries and Latin America
Over the years, the celebration of March 8 has been incorporated in their struggle for women’s equality diversity and the complex situation of women worldwide. Iran is a case in point and feminist activism has taken to the streets of Tehran to defend social progress in stages of political change as 1979, with the arrival of the Islamic regime of Khomeini, or just six years ago, in 2007, when they claimed not be discriminated by the current regime of Ahmadinejad and were repressed for it.
In Latin America, the March 8 has been relevant since the eighties, severe political and social upheaval. The rights of African women, female poverty, women’s murders in Mexico and Central America, the loss of social and labor rights as a result of the economic crisis, ablation or the status of women in Islam are some of the challenges for the March 8, which celebrated its centenary in 2011 with the creation of a new government agency: UN Women .