International Women’s Day is being celebrated every 8th of March. It is an opportunity to highlight the achievements of women and to become aware of the obstacles that remain to be overcome in order to achieve equality.
Currently, every year in many other countries, women’s rights day is organized by women activists in associations of the greater or lesser topic. It is important for these local and national bodies to remind each year, at the date of the day of women’s rights, that in this area nothing is achieved and that the progress made to improve the rights of women must fight all the time.
Women’s Day in World History
If by celebrating 2019 Women’s Day, some people will be able to think today that Women’s Rights Day was born out of the initiative of liberated women of the 20th century, it is time to put the right date back to the right moment. And yet, it’s not so easy to know when this idea came up. It was in 1921 that this day was chosen by Lenin to be the International Day of Women’s Right she wanted to celebrate the women who, in Petrograd on March 8, 1917, demonstrated in reaction to the Russian revolution. Gradually, this day was celebrated in the countries of the East and on this occasion, the men offered flowers to their wives, mothers, grandmothers, and friends. In France, it is said that Women’s Day dates back to 1857, at a time when American women workers in the textile world had gone on strike. Yet, there is no trace of this strike anywhere. In fact, it was much later, in 1977 that the United Nations formalized this day and since then, in all countries, March 8 is recognized as the date of the Day of the rights of the woman.
The fact that the date of this day is a day not worked for a majority of women may allow that, in each city, cultural events, sports, symposia, film screenings, thematic days concerning the progress of women’s rights be further followed.
Origins of Women’s Day
But where does this day come from, which celebrates women? If the United Nations formalized this celebration (and its date) in 1977 and it was in France in 1982 by President François Mitterrand, its origin is to look further into time: at the time of the the struggle of working women for better working conditions, and that of suffragettes for the right to vote, in the first part of the twentieth century. In 1957, the newspaper L’Humanité welcomed the centenary of March 8, 1857, the day when “the clothing workers of the city of New York went out in the streets, like men, carrying signs and banners “for better working conditions and respect for their dignity. In 1908, June 21 this time, it was the turn of 250,000 suffragettes to claim the right to vote for women in London. A late 19th to early 20th century emancipatory taste that would favor the emergence of the International Women’s Rights Day, decades later.
The first International Women’s Day was held on 19 March 1911 (in Europe and the United States) and was already arguing for more rights. As for the date of March 8, the Day of the woman was decreed at that date in 1921 by Lenin in Russia. After the signing of the United Nations Charter in San Francisco in 1945 to declare gender equality as a human right, there are more and more protests around the world every year for gender equality. These days are the occasion of demonstrations as well as balance sheets, in particular in figures, on the situation of the moment. Activists’ associations also take the opportunity to celebrate recent achievements as well as to make heard the demands that remain on the agenda. And there are: in 2013 (according to INSEE figures), a difference of 19 % separated the average salary of women and that of men, who were better paid. However, it is 2.5 points less than a decade ago, a slight decrease in inequality.
The message of the Women’s Day
Women’s Day, the real time of struggle for equality or simple commercial program? If Women’s Day has many detractors, especially because brands seize it to, it was first put in place by the United Nations in 1977 to bring women’s rights back to those of men. They also have their day since 1997. Formalized in France in the early 80s by François Mitterrand, the Women’s Day draws its source in the struggles led by workers and suffragettes for their rights, at the dawn of the twentieth century. If, since then, the emancipation movement of women has only grown, at least in the industrialized countries, inequalities remain in the twenty-first century.