How and why does the world celebrate International Women’s Day?

Did you know when and why we started celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) ? In this blog article we would like to share some historical highlights associated with the announcement of this holiday together with some interesting facts about how it is being celebrated across different countries.

At first, let’s take a look at the important historical milestones leading to us celebrating the IWD the way we know it today.

Brief history of the Women’s Day

February the 28th 1909, USA

On this date, Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time. This day was designated by the Socialist Party of America to honour the strike of women garment workers in New York.

1910, Denmark

The International Socialist Women’s Conference was held in Copenhagen. Although many different topics were addressed, the focus discussion evolved around the right of women to vote in the elections.

March the 19th 1911, Denmark

As a result of the conference in Copenhagen, International Women’s Day was marked for the first time by Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

February 1913, Russia

Russian women celebrated their first Women’s Day as part of the peace movement against the First World War.

March the 8th 1914, Germany

The Women’s Day in Germany was first held.

June the 26th 1945, USA

The Charter of the United Nations which was signed in San Francisco, was accepted as the first international treaty recognizing the importance of equal rights of persons without distinction of race, gender, language or religion.

December the 18th 1979, USA

The General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

1985, Nairobi

The Third World Conference on Women took place to review and assess the achievements of the UN decade for women.

1995, Beijing

The Fourth  World Conference on Women was held where governments from all over the world adopted the Beijing Platform for Action – an action plan to achieve global legal equality.

As a result of multiple collective efforts, the events mentioned above have given women’s rights a new dimension in history. Now, every year on the 8th of March, Women’s Day is celebrated all over the world to honour the recognition of women’s achievements without regard to nationality, ethnicity, language, culture, socio-economic conditions, or political divisions.

Having the unique opportunity to work in a very international environment, we have had the chance to ask our colleagues to share how Women’s day being celebrated in their home countries – and we found that our findings are extremely interesting to share! Let’s take a closer look together.

7 ways Women’s Day is celebrated in some countries around the world

India 🇮🇳 

It is common in India that men (whether classmates, co-workers, or family members) congratulate women with flowers or other small gifts. Also, inspiring female leaders of different backgrounds are put in the spotlight to influence and inspire women across the whole country.

Russia 🇷🇺

In Russia, Women’s day is officially a public holiday since 1965 and is widely celebrated across the whole country. Starting with a very young age, boys in kindergartens and schools are congratulating their girl classmates with flowers and gifts. It is also quite common among Russians to give special attention to mothers and grandmothers on that day – for example, in schools, there are even small concerts organised.
The tradition extends to universities and workplaces as well, where celebrations are typically held the day before.

Spain 🇪🇸

In Spain,  many political activities, protests and strikes take place on that day. The purpose of it is to raise awareness and motivate change towards a more gender-equal world.  Interesting to mention that there is a special colour associated with the Women’s Day – purple. Should you be visiting Spain on the 8th of March, you will see it around a lot ☺

Turkey 🇹🇷

Similar to Spain, many political activities and protests take place in Turkey to mark the International Women’s Day. However, similar to other countries, it is also common to gift flowers to women: on the streets, at work, or in educational institutions.

Italy 🇮🇹

International Women’s Day is known in Italy as La Festa Della Donna. On this day, men traditionally gift mimosa blossoms to women. This flower carries the symbolic gesture of love similar to the red rose on Valentine’s Day.

Germany 🇩🇪

Even though Germany is known for its numerous public holidays, 8 March is only a public holiday in the federal state of Berlin. However, this day is known and celebrated in the entire country. Women’s Day is known in Germany as Frauentag.

China 🇨🇳

China has adopted the celebration of Women’s Day from Russia in 1949. Female employees are often granted a half-day off work on that day and are in general a subject to special treatman from the men surrouding them at work and in private life.

Fintiba wishes all women around the world a happy International Women’s Day! 💐

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