• Live
    • Audio Only
  • google plus
  • facebook
  • twitter
News > Belgium

International Women's Day: A World Demand For Gender Equality

  • People celebrate the International Women's Day, Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, March 8, 2023.

    People celebrate the International Women's Day, Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, March 8, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/ @HmcMti

Published 8 March 2023

The International Women’s Day started to be celebrated on March 8 after the "Bread and Peace" strike organized by Russian textile women workers in 1917.

On March 8, people around the world celebrate the International Women’s Day, which marks a widespread demand for equal rights between women and men.


Argentine Women Demand Democratization of Justice

This celebration’s origin dates back to the labor movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries when women workers started to hold demonstrations to demand better working conditions and more civil rights.

In the U.S., for instance, working women and liberal professionals held a demonstration called "Women’s Day” in February 1908 to fight for their right to vote and receive better wages. In 1909, they repeated this initiative, which gathered 2,000 people in Manhattan.

That same year, similar movements were held in Berlin (Germany), Vienna (Austria), and Saint Petersburg (Russia). Nevertheless, it was not until 1910 when Clara Zetkin, a German Communist Party member, proposed to create an International Women’s Day during the Second International Congress of Socialist Women held in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Zetkin did not define a precise date for this celebration, which was first held on March 19, 1911, in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland.

The International Women’s Day started to be celebrated on March 8 after a strike organized by Russian textile women workers on that day in 1917.

On that occasion, some 90,000 women demonstrated against poor working conditions, hunger, and the policies of Tsar Nicholas II, who determined that their country participated in the First World War. This protest, which was known as "Bread and Peace,” is considered one of the first moments of the Bolshevik Revolution.

In 1975, the United Nations recognized March 8 as the International Women’s Day and highlighted the need to promote policies that contribute to gender equality.

"Women are active members of our societies. They play a paramount role in the development of peoples and, as such, deserve to have the same rights as their fellow countrymen,” the UN stated.

Although world gender inequality rates have been reduced over the years, they are still very high. A study conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), for instance, showed that the world gender wage gap indicator is approximately 11.9 percent and that women are not still allowed to work in certain professions in 88 out of 180 countries.

“Wish all women a great International Women's Day. Let us celebrate women’s achievements while reminding ourselves that much more needs to be done, so we should continue the fight for gender equality and to empower women in all aspects of life,” Roberto Valent, the UN Regional Director For Latin America and the Caribbean, tweeted.

Post with no comments.