In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman’s Day was observed across the United States on February 28. Women continued to celebrate it on the last Sunday of that month.
The Socialist International, meeting in Copenhagen, established a Women’s Day, international in character, to honour the movement for women’s rights and to assist in achieving universal suffrage for women. No fixed date was selected for the observance.
As a result of the decision taken at Copenhagen the previous year, International Women’s Day was marked for the first time (March 19) in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, where more than one million women and men attended rallies.
As part of the peace movement brewing on the eve of World War I, Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. Elsewhere in Europe, on or around 8 March of the following year, women held rallies.
With 2 million Russian soldiers dead in the war, Russian women again chose the last Sunday in February to strike for “bread and peace”.
SOURCE: UNITED NATIONS
Published in The Express Tribune, March 8th, 2012.
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