Today is International Women’s Day! I find it timely that today, March 8, is a day set aside to honor and uplift women everywhere. You’ll notice even Google has gotten into the act with their special Women’s Day logo. With all the women’s issues being hotly debated in the political arena lately, I thought I would take some time to talk about this important day and why it is that we should all observe it.
International Women’s Day is not a new holiday. It has been around since the early 1900s. Back then, women were still fighting for the right to vote, fighting for their voice, the right to be heard. The first National Woman’s Day was celebrated in America February 28, 1909. This was during a time when American women were marching for better pay, shorter working hours and voting rights. National Woman’s Day was observed on this date for four years.
In 1910 a woman named Clara Zetkin attended the International Conference of Working Women that was held in Copenhagen, Denmark. She put on the table the idea of an international women’s day to be celebrated on the same day all over the globe. This was a way to get women everywhere to collaborate together and press for their demands. There were more than 100 women from 17 different countries present at that conference and the International Women’s Day (IWD) was unanimously approved.
This is when it gets really exciting, and makes my heart swell with pride. Year by year, more countries adopted this new holiday. In 1911, Austria and Germany were one of the first countries to honor this day. Rallies were held in various countries- more than one million people attended IWD rallies to campaign for women’s rights. However, on March 19th of that year the “Triangle of Fire” in New York City occurred, which killed more than 140 working women- most of them Jewish or Italian immigrants working in horrendous conditions. Had their doors not been locked (they were usually locked inside to prevent workers from leaving early or taking breaks) who knows if the deaths could have been prevented. This event suddenly became the focus of subsequent IWD rallies, not to mention it brought the issue of unmonitored labor laws to the forefront of the US legislation.
In February of 1913 Russian women observed their first IWD. Later that year it was agreed upon to make the official global date March 8th, as more and more women from different countries joined the fight to express women’s rights and solidarity. Today IWD is celebrated not just in North America and Europe, but also many Eastern and Middle Eastern countries as well! Afghanistan, Cambodia, China, Uganda, Ukraine, to name a few. March 8th is treated with the same respect as Mother’s Day in many countries where husbands, fathers and children bring their mothers and grandmothers small gifts and tokens of affection. We have certainly come a long way since 1911!
In 1975 the United Nations declared it National Women’s Year! To this day on March 8th, women’s groups and organizations hold events to celebrate women’s advancements in society and making sure we stay vigilant, ensuring equality is continued and we don’t become complacent. We need to teach the younger generations of women our history. The shift of attitudes in the 21st century now means there are more women executives, business owners, politicians, professors and scientists. Although true equality has yet to be reached (equal pay for equal work is still an issue), we should observe International Women’s Day today, to celebrate how far we’ve come and work on how far we still need to go.
Red Apple Lipstick celebrates all women from all backgrounds and all walks of life. We recognize that true beauty comes from within, which is why we choose not to use ingredients that are harmful in any of our products. We want you to be healthy, happy and embrace the power of womanhood! Know that when you fight for equality and your rights, we are right along side you. YOU are Woman, YOU are beautiful.