International Women's Day: March 8th
International Women’s Day had its formal beginnings in August 1910 when an International Socialist Women's Conference was organized to precede the general meeting of the Socialist Second International in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Inspired in part by the American socialists, German Socialist Luise Zietz proposed the establishment of an annual Women's Day and was seconded by fellow socialist and later communist leader Clara Zetkin, supported by socialist activist Käte Duncker, although no date was specified at that conference.

Delegates (100 women from 17 countries) agreed with the idea as a strategy to promote equal rights including suffrage for women.

The following year on March 19, 1911, IWD was marked for the first time, by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. In the Austro-Hungarian Empire alone, there were 300 demonstrations.

In Vienna, women paraded on the Ringstrasse and carried banners honoring the martyrs of the Paris Commune. Women demanded that they be given the right to vote and to hold public office. They also protested against employment sex discrimination.

In 1913 Russian women observed their first International Women's Day on the last Saturday in February (by the Julian calendar then used in Russia).

In 1914 International Women's Day was held on March 8 in Germany, possibly because that day was a Sunday, and now it is always held on March 8 in all countries. The 1914 observance of the Day in Germany was dedicated to women's right to vote, which German women did not win until 1918.

After women gained suffrage in Soviet Russia in 1917, March 8 became a national holiday there. The day was then predominantly celebrated by the socialist movement and communist countries until it was adopted by the feminist movement in about 1967. The United Nations began celebrating the day in 1975.
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