International Women’s Day (IWD), day (March 8) honouring the achievements of women and promoting women’s rights. A national holiday in numerous countries, it has been sponsored by the United Nations (UN) since 1975.
International Women’s Day (IWD) grew out of efforts in the early 20th century to promote women’s rights, especially suffrage. In its campaign for female enfranchisement, the Socialist Party of America in 1909 held the first National Woman’s Day, which was highlighted by mass meetings across the United States; the day was observed until 1913. Encouraged by German activist Clara Zetkin, the International Socialist Congress agreed in 1910 to create an international version of the U.S. holiday, and on March 19, 1911, the first IWD was held in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. More than one million people attended rallies marking the day. In the ensuing years the IWD was celebrated in additional countries and on varying dates. On March 8 (February 24, Old Style), 1917, women in Petrograd (St. Petersburg), Russia, marked the day by staging a strike to protest food shortages, poor living conditions, and World War I. This strike for “bread and peace” helped give rise to the Russian Revolution of 1917, which led to the abdication of Nicholas II on March 15 (March 2). In 1921 the date of the IWD was officially changed to March 8.
The most influential woman in my life was my Granny. No one shaped me more than her. She stood like a rock, worked hard and when the going was tough, she worked harder. She lead by example and was consistent as clockwork. She was my mother from the day I was born, she watched over me. I remember when as a little girl she would give me a bath, then wrap me in a towel and take me to the bed and rub powder all over. It was such a loving moment that created a lasting memory.
We all have women in our life to celebrate, who’ve been there for us in good times and bad, taught us valuable life lessons, and given us the mentorship we’ve needed. I’ve been very fortunate to have several strong women in my past and present. My therapist is one, she’s been a solid supporter for over 30 years. When I was younger and in trouble, I had a probation officer who went out of her way to keep me out of jail and was able to get the help I needed.
I have many other great women from work that have influenced me and I thank them all.