"Women ''- a complete symbol of social oppression by caste, religion, capitalist exploiters and male chauvinism from thousands of years. Every year women celebrate International Women's day on March 8 as a symbol of joy and fun. The first "International Women's Day" was held on March 8, 1914. As the years passed, women were blacked out from knowing the true history and sacrifice of thousands of women for liberation and to celebrate the first international women's day. Actually, it's the day for working women to come together and raise their voice for women's rights. It's been more than 90 years now since the first International Women's day was celebrated. Today, women's day has lost its political and social importance. To know the value of women's day, it's necessary to know the complete history and the reason for celebrating International Women's Day.
International Women’s day started in the early 20th century in America under the leadership of Women Socialist to fight for political rights of women. On February 28 1909, the Socialist Party of America declared the first National Women’s Day (NWD), and organized mass demonstrations and meetings across America. For this reason, the credit for organizing first women’s day goes to all American working women and socialists.
In 1910, a second International Conference was held in Copenhagen, Denmark, where all Socialist Organizations met together. The conference included 100 delegates from 17 countries, German socialist Luise Zietz and Clara Zetkin proposed the establishment of an annual International Women’s Day, but the date for celebration was not finalized. The conference decided that every year all countries should celebrate International Women’s Day on the same day with the slogan “The vote for women will unite our strength in the struggle for socialism”.
On March 19, 1911, International Women’s day was started in Austria, Germany, Denmark and Switzerland. Millions of women gathered and took part in demonstrations against women oppression in the workplace. In Vienna, women carried banners and paraded honouring the martyrs of “Paris Commune” (1871).
After the victory of Russian revolution and formation of Soviet Union, Lenin proclaimed March 8th as International Women's day and an official holiday across Soviet Union for service women to uplift the society. Till this day, women’s day is the official national holiday across communist and socialist countries. For a long time western countries did not accept March 8th as Women’s Day due to its symbol of the working women’s revolution. Later, UN officially proclaimed March 8th as International Women’s Day in 1977.
Important Fact: The February Revolution took place on February 23 (Sunday), 1917 based on the Julian Calendar, which was then used in Russia, but after the soviet union formation, the calendar changed to Gregorian calendar in which it is March 8th. During those days, capitalists would employ more women for cheap labour, and restrict them even from the right to vote. This ultimately led to working women’s organizations.
Is women's day needed?
Women's day is the most important day when it's political and social importance is felt. It gives a sense of courage for women to come together, demonstrate, agitate and fight for liberation. It puts a great question in our mind: do we need women's day in today's format?
Dilution of importance
Since the first celebration of women's day too till this day, world ruling class, capitalist and chauvinist want the significance of the day both politically and socially to be diluted. They never want women to get united with class and oppression consciousness. Over a century they took lots of steps to dilute its importance. Here are few valid point to prove my claims:
Most of the American and European countries speak a lot that most democratic countries in the world, yet they are never ready to accept international women's day till the UN officially announced it. Even today it's a low case in western countries.
America came forward to accept the International women's day officially only by 1994.
Capitalists never want working class women to unite because it may lead to fighting against exploitation. Most capitalists even today employ more women with cheap labour costs.
Even today many corporates never came forward to form a sexual harassment board in work place.
Women's day today has become a product of consumerization and merchandise. It purposefully diluted the sacrifice and importance of women's day. Even google doodle communicated its International Women's Day a day before official day.
Fascist, racist and male chauvinists mostly spread a wrong notion about women's day. They played an important role in diluting women's rights.
Today's world's largest media houses portray women as sexual objects and even attained a huge success where women themselves started to feel sexual objects.
Roadmap for future women's day
Year 2017 is going to be the 100th year of International Women's Day. Over a century the day has played an important role in many ways like right to vote, workplace rights, etc. Still a long march left out for liberation from patriarchy and class exploitation. Marx used to specify that working women were both exploited by capitalist and male. They have to fight against both to liberate themselves. Women's have lot to fight for equal wages with men, harassment board, working women's union, reservation in all places, fight against rape, sexual trading, etc. To speak of it first we need to know the political and social significance of the day. Let this women's day may put an end to feminine consumerization and unite hand in hand with millions of women across the globe.