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History of International Woman's Day

Sean MurphyComment

International Women's Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women's Day, is celebrated on March 8 every year. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women for their economic, political and social achievements. An effective Women's Day was the 1975 Icelandic women's strike which paved the way for the first female president in the world, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir.

In some regions, the day lost its political flavor and became simply an occasion for people to express their love for women in a way somewhat similar to a mixture of Mother's Day and Valentine's Day. In other regions however, the political and human rights theme designated by the United Nations runs strong political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide are brought out and examined in a hopeful manner. Some people celebrate the day by wearing purple ribbons.

The earliest celebration was held as a Socialist political event in 1909 in New York City. Declared a national holiday in the Soviet Union in 1917, it spread to other nearby countries. It is now celebrated in many Eastern countries.