March 8: why is it women’s day?

March 8: why is it women’s day?

Origins and history of the international women’s day, which since 1909 is celebrated every March 8th.

The idea of ​​an international women’s day was born in February 1909 in the United States, at the initiative of the American Socialist Party. The following year, in 1910, the proposal was accepted by Clara Zetkin in Copenhagen, during the International Conference of Socialist Women.

From the congress documents are not clear the reasons that led to the choice of that date, March 8, and in reality and until 1921 individual countries chose different days for the celebration. It is only on the occasion of the Second Conference of Communist Women (Moscow, 1921) that a single date for the celebrations is proposed and approved, in memory of the demonstration against the tsarism of the women of St. Petersburg (1917).

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FALSE HISTORY:  Some traditions also refer to a dramatic incident that took place in the United States in 1857, when some factory workers who had been closed by the employer in order not to take part in a strike lost their lives as a result of a fire.

In Italy and other countries there has often been reference to an alleged analogous episode in New York on March 8, 1911, when 134 women lost their lives in the fire  of a shirt factory. It seems, however, that the factory was inexistent and that a dramatic fire actually took place, but in February. In reality, depending on the countries where this tradition is established, the date, place and number of victims change.

According to Tilde Capomazza and Marisa Ombra, who in the book March 8 (Utopia) studied the origins of the celebration, the motivations given in 1921 in Moscow were too tied to a precise political moment and were soon abandoned and replaced by more symbolic events.



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