International Women’s Day 2021: History, marches and celebrations
For more than a century people around the world have been marking 8th March as a special day for women.
- How did it start?
International Women’s Day, also known as IWD for short, grew out of the labour movement to become a recognised annual event by the United Nations (UN).
The seeds of it were planted in 1908, when 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter working hours, better pay and the right to vote. It was the Socialist Party of America who declared the first National Woman’s Day, a year later.
The idea to make the day international came from a woman called Clara Zetkin. She suggested the idea in 1910 at an International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen. There were 100 women there, from 17 countries, and they agreed on her suggestion unanimously.
It was first celebrated in 1911, in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. The centenary was celebrated in 2011, so this year we’re technically celebrating the 110th International Women’s Day.
Things were made official in 1975 when the United Nations started celebrating the day.
International Women’s Day has become a date to celebrate how far women have come in society, in politics and in economics, while the political roots of the day mean strikes and protests are organised to raise awareness of continued inequality.
- When is IWD?
It’s on 8th March.
It wasn’t formalised until a war-time strike in 1917 when Russian women demanded “bread and peace” – and four days into the women’s strike the Tsar was forced to abdicate and the provisional government granted women the right to vote.
The date when the women’s strike commenced on the Julian calendar, which was then in use in Russia, was Sunday 23rd February. This day in the Gregorian calendar was 8th March – and that’s when it’s celebrated today.
- What colours symbolise International Women’s Day?
Purple, green and white are the colours of IWD according to the International Women’s Day website.
“Purple signifies justice and dignity. Green symbolizes hope. White represents purity, albeit a controversial concept. The colours originated from the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in the UK in 1908,” they say.
- Is there an International Men’s Day?
There is indeed, on 19th November.
But it has only been marked since the 1990s and isn’t recognised by the UN. People celebrate it in more than 80 countries worldwide, including the UK.
The day celebrates “the positive value men bring to the world, their families and communities”, highlighting positive role models and raising awareness of men’s well-being.
- How is Women’s Day celebrated and will there be virtual events this year?
International Women’s Day is a national holiday in many countries, including Russia where the sales of flowers doubles during the three or four days around 8th March.
In China, many women are given a half-day off work on 8th March, as advised by the State Council, although many employers don’t always pass the half-day on to their female employees.
In Italy, International Women’s Day, or la Festa della Donna, is celebrated by the giving of mimosa blossom. The origin of this tradition is unclear but it is believed to have started in Rome after World War Two.
In the US, the month of March is Women’s History Month. A presidential proclamation issued every year honours the achievements of American women.
This year will look a little different because of coronavirus and more virtual events are expected to take place around the world.
source: International Women’s Day 2021: History, marches and celebrations, BBC News
Válaszolj a következő kérdésekre a cikkben olvasott információk alapján.
- When was the first National Women’s Day declared?
- When was the first International Women’s Day celebrated?
- Since when have the United Nations celebrated the International Women’s Day?
- What did the Russian women want to get during their strike in 1917?
- Why did the American women march in 1908?
- What colours are used to symbolize woman’s day and what do they mean?
- When and where is International Men’s Day celebrated?
- What is given to Italian women on 8th March?
keys/megoldások: 1. In 1909; 2. In 1911; 3. since 1975; 4. to get bread, peace and the right to vote; 5. They demanded/wanted shorter working hours, better pay and the right to vote; 6. Purple signifies justice and dignity. Green symbolizes hope. White represents purity; 7. on 19th November; in more than 80 countries worldwide, including the UK; 8. mimosa blossom
|to plant seeds||‘magokat’ elültetni|
|right to vote||szavazati jog|
|to raise awareness||figyelmet felhívni valamire|
|provisional government||ideiglenes/átmeneti kormány|
|to grant right to||jogot biztosítani valamire|
|mimosa blossom||mimóza virág|
|to take place||megtörténni|