#IWD2018 – Some history of International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day has taken place for well over a century. Long before that, however, history notes that Hypatia of Alexandria, a philosopher, mathematician and astronomer of Roman Egypt was martyred in March 415, supposedly on the 8th, precisely because of her political influence as a defender of the sciences, of empiricism above dogmatism, and the space of women in various intellectual circles of her time.

Almost 500 years later, the first observance of a Women’s Day was on 28 February 1909 in New York, organised by the​ Socialist Party of America. Then, March 8 was suggested by the 1910 International Woman’s Conference to become an “International Woman’s Day.” After women gained the vote in Soviet Russia in 1917, March 8 became a national holiday there. The day from then on was celebrated predominantly by the socialist movement and communist countries, e.g. in China from 1922. Communist leader Dolores Ibárruri led a women’s march in Madrid in 1936 on the eve of the Spanish Civil War. March 8 was adopted only in 1975 as an international day by the United Nations as the UN Day for women’s rights and world peace.

Since then, March 8 has become a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, and marks a call to action for accelerating gender equality/equity/parity. In 27 countries in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe, March 8th is an official national holiday.

Yellow mimosa is the symbol of March 8 in Italy

Echoing the priority theme of the upcoming 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women this year, International Women’s Day 2018 will draw attention to the rights and activism of rural women, who make up over a quarter of the world population, but who are being left behind in every measure of development.

Some hashtags: #IWD2018, #PressforProgress, #TimeIsNow, #DíadelaMujer, #AhoraEsElMomento, #JourneeDesFemmes


SOURCES: Wikipedia ; www.internationalwomensday.com ; UN Women

VISUALS: International Women’s Day posters