Did you know that International Women's Day has been observed and celebrated since the early 1900s?
National Women's Day was first observed in the US in 1909 on February 28, and it was observed on the last Sunday of February until 1913.
It wasn't until 1910, during the second International Conference of Working Women held in Copenhagen that Clara Zetkin of Germany proposed every year, on the same day, in every country, there by a Women's Day where women would be able to speak out against oppression and inequality while campaigning for change. Zetkin's proposal was met with unanimous approval from the 100 women from 17 countries present at the conference.
March 19, 1911, saw the first International Women's Day observation in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. Then, after some discussions in 1913, it was agreed that International Women's Day would be celebrated each year on March 8. By 1914, more women throughout Europe began to observe International Women's Day as they held rallies for women's solidarity, for women's suffrage, and to campaign against the war.
The United Nations didn't formally mark International Women's Day until 1975, thereby adopting a resolution in December of 1977 to proclaim a United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by any of the Member countries. While observance and energy surrounding the celebration of Intenational Women's Day lagged in the decades that followed, in 2001, the internationalwomensday.com website launched in an effort to reinvigorate participation and call attention to the work still needed to be done in recogntion of women's achievements and in bringing about equality, equity, and women's rights.
Today marks 112 years since the first International Women's Day.