International Women’s Day

March 8, 2012

Today, March 8th, is the annual International Women's Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women’s Day.

The first national Women's Day was observed on 28 February 1909 in the United States following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America.

Started as a Socialist political event, the holiday quickly folded in the cultures of many countries, primarily Eastern European, Russian, and those of the former Soviet Block. In many regions, the day has lost its political flavor and become simply an occasion for expression of appreciation for women in a way somewhat similar to a mixture of Mother's Day and St. Valentine's Day. In other regions, however, the original political and human rights theme designated by the United Nations runs strong, and political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide are brought out, examined, and recogized.



The day has been seen as a time for asserting women's political and social rights, for reviewing the progress that women have made, or as a day for celebration. In keeping with its early radical traditions, Lena Lewis, U S. socialist, declared in 1910 that it was not a time for celebrating anything, but rather a day for anticipating all the struggles to come when "we may eventually and forever stamp out the last vestige of male egotism and his desire to dominate over women."

This date is also commemorated at the United Nations and is designated in many countries as a national holiday. When women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and  ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic, and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents many decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace, and development.

Here are the recent library acquisitions relating to the  subject:

Relevant subject headings include:

  • sex discrimination against women
  • patriarchy
  • women's rights
  • women's rights - interntaional cooperation
  • women in development
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