International Women’s Day (March 8) is celebrated by women’s organizations and groups around the world. The day is about celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women in the past, present and future. According to the United Nations (1997), “International Women’s Day is the story of ordinary women as makers of history; it is rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men.”
International Women’s Day has been observed since the early 1900s. The first National Women’s Day was observed in the United States on 28 February 1909 in accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America. Copenhagen was the site of the second International Conference of Working Women in 1910. During that conference, Clara Zetkin proposed the idea that every country should celebrate a Women’s Day on the same day so women could press for their demands. The proposal was unanimously approved and the result was International Women’s Day that was celebrated for the first time in 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.
Since its creation, International Women’s Day has grown into a worldwide phenomenon. Around the world, women campaign for pay equality, a larger presence in business or politics, better education and healthcare, and to stop violence against women. It is a day to inspire women and celebrate their achievements – large and small. The United Nations commemorates March 8 as International Women’s Day and in many countries, International Women’s Day is a national holiday.
In honor of International Women’s Day, check out these resources at the VC/UHV Library:
- Texas Through Women’s Eyes by Judith McArthur
- The Political Thought of Elizabeth Cady Stanton by Sue Davis
- The Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft
- The Blackwell Guide to Feminist Philosophy
- The British Women’s Suffrage Campaign, 1866-1928 by Harold Smith
- Women’s Suffrage by Jeff Hill
- American Women: A Library of Congress Guide for the Study of Women’s History and Culture in the United States
- Land of the Unconquerable: The Lives of Contemporary Afghan Women
- African American Women in the Struggle for the Vote, 1850-1920 by Rosalyn Terborg-Penn
- Margaret Sanger: A Life of Passion by Jean Baker
International Women’s Day. (2013). About. Retrieved from http://www.internationalwomensday.com/about.asp.
United Nations. (1997). International Women’s Day. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/ecosocdev/geninfo/women/womday97.htm.