Why International Women’s Day is March 8

Two powerful women and the first black president of the USA Credit: Vargas2040 CC

Quite often the reason particular dates for international days are chosen is unclear but in the case of March 8 for International Women’s Day it’s down to religion.

Russian Revolution

Prior to the Revolution, Imperial Russia had not recognised the Gregorian Calendar, choosing instead to follow the Julian Calendar, created before the birth of Christ and as the saying goes it ‘marched to a different drum’.

On the last Sunday of February 1917, Russian women began a strike for “Bread and Peace” in response to the death of an estimated two million Russian soldiers during the First World War and four days later the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote.

The women’s strike commenced on Sunday February 23 which in the Gregorian Calendar created by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 was actually March 8 and this is why that became the date for the annual International Women’s Day celebrations.

Officially recognized by the United Nations in 1977, International Women’s Day first emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe.

Women still fighting for their rights

For decades in the 20th Century, women had to fight firstly to gain the vote and then to obtain the same rights as men and even now, more than 100 years later, there are still differences in salary based on gender, glass ceilings and an ongoing fight against gender violence around the world.

It has been a long hard struggle but women are monarchs, successful business owners, influencers and political leaders in the majority of nations although perhaps the greatest achievement will be if a woman ever becomes President of China, Russia or the USA.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development. Share your story with us by emailing newsdesk@euroweeklynews.com, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page www.facebook.com/EuroWeeklyNews