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February 2012

Daily Archives: February 18, 2012

Women’s Day

Russia’s Women’s Day Celebration

Международный женский день

Women’s Day is one of my favorite Russian holidays!  Our men are suppose to honor us and treat us like queens!  This is a day when our lovely men must get up early and buy flowers and all day tell us how loved and special we are.  What woman would not like that?

Women’s day is similar to Mother’s Day in America, except that all women are celebrated.  Historically, March 8 has long been internationally associated with women’s rights, beginning with a famous mass protest in New York on March 8, 1857, when women from sewing and shoe factories demonstrated for rights equal to those of men. Men had recently won a 10-hour workday. Women, however, were forgotten in the legislation and kept to a 16-hour workday. The strike was well-publicised and gained public support and became a day for regular demonstrations in the US and Europe. In 1910, during a meeting of women in the Socialist International, a proposal was made to adopt March 8th as an international socialist holiday marking the struggle for women’s rights. The International did adopt the idea, proclaiming just such a holiday, but did not assign to it any particular date, leaving that decision up to the party members from each country. The day was first celebrated in St. Petersburg in 1913, but it would not become an official state holiday and day off until 1965. Most likely, however, the greatest historical significance of the date for Russians is as the date that Russian women first gained the right to vote: on March 8, 1917 (according to the Julian Calendar), under the newly installed Provisional Government. Russian women had campaigned for more rights as the war effort during WWI had necessitated that they take on a greater role in the workforce and society.

As an interesting note to end on, American women would gain the right to vote only three years later.   This is a very popular international holiday and we should support it more in the United States, after all, we deserve!  LOL



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