International Women’s Day: The Battle for Equality


Lyndsey Brown, Farhin Hossain, and Brenda Ramirez. Taken by Paul Orejimi

Farhin Hossain, Writer

International Women’s Day is a time where we celebrate all women from all over the world. However, not many people know the struggle that it took for women to get this day. With that, this article will serve to explain the events that brought about International Women’s Day and how it is now.

According to the International Women’s Day website, This day goes all the way back to 1908, at a time where women didn’t even have rights. Women were more vocal about the oppression they were facing and so, 15,000 women marched into NYC to demand shorter hours, better pay, and voting rights. Then a year later, National Women’s Day was first observed across the united states on February 28, 1909 and continued to be observed until the last Sunday of February until 1913.

In 1910, a woman by the name of Clara Zetkin brought up the idea of an international women’s day at a second International Conference of Working Women held in Copenhagen. She believed that every country should have one same day every year to recognize all women. Her idea was met with approval and International Women’s Day was born. A year after the decision was made, International Women’s Day was honored for the first time in Austria,
Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland on March 19. Over one million people attended IDW rallies that were fighting for human rights. Between 1913-1914, on the eve of World War 1’s campaign for peace, Russia celebrated their first international Women’s Day on February 23.

This is the time where it was decided that International Women’s Day would be on March 8 because that’s how it translated in the adopted Gregorian calendar. In 1917 Women fought to get their rights, and jumping ahead to 2000, IDW was barely in the mainstream, meaning a change needed to be made to get the word out there, thus the International Women’s Day website (the one referenced in this article) was created.

And finally in 2011, marked the 100 year of IDW, and saw many places raise awareness in IDW, such as Barack Obama claiming March 2011 to be Women’s History Month, Hillary Clinton, launching the “100 Women Initiative: Empowering Women and Girls through International Exchanges,” or the global charity for Women International led across London’s famous bridge led by celebrity activist Annie Lennox.

And even now, IDW is still a time that is recognized by all. However women still face a lot of problems such as gender based violence and unequal pay. However, though these issues exist, IDW can serve both as a reminder to women of how far they’ve come since 1908, and as a sign of hope to keep fighting for the rights they deserve just as much as males.