by David, United States
"A Promise is a Promise : Time for Action to end Violence against Women" is the official UN theme for tomorrow’s International Women’s Day; "The Gender Agenda Р“СћРІвЂљВ¬РІР‚Сљ Gaining Momentum" is the IWD 2013’s chosen theme.
International Women’s Day was observed for the first time in 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. More than a million women got involved, and the push was for women’s right to vote, hold public office, get vocational training, and receive unemployment rights.
Alexandra Kollontai, Bolshevik activist, convinced Vladimir Lenin to declare International Women’s Day an official Russian holiday in 1912.
The women of International Women’s Day in Russia were active in protesting World War I, and in 1917 went on strike for "Peace and bread" on the last Sunday in February which was March 8 on the Gregorian calendar. Several days later the Czar abdicated and the provisional government granted Russian women the right to vote.
Over the years the political protest nature of the holiday faded in Russia, and today it is their combination of Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day Р“СћРІвЂљВ¬РІР‚Сљ men all over Russia buy gifts, flowers, and candy for the women in their lives. It is an official Russian holiday, and dearly loved in the hearts of its people.
Initially International Women’s Day was celebrated primarily in the Soviet Bloc and socialist nations.
Today International Women’s Day is an official holiday in the following countries:
- Burkina Faso
- China (for women only)
- Cuba, Georgia
- Macedonia (for women only)
- Madagascar (for women only)
- Nepal (for women only)
It was never adopted as a holiday in the USA; presumably because of its Soviet Bloc and socialist country origins. However, thousands of USA women have embraced the day, and huge events are planned in the larger American cities, especially the Big Apple Р“СћРІвЂљВ¬РІР‚Сљ big rally, big march, and a cocktail party at the Empire Room in the Empire State Building !!! (Make mine a double!)
Happy International Women’s day to all you ladies Р“СћРІвЂљВ¬РІР‚Сљ whether or not your country has endorsed it!