When I checked my FB page as usual in the morning, there were a lot of updates about Women’s Day. But I didn’t find any post saying why we celebrate it. So, I thought of doing a little bit of research on it.
For the First time, Women’s Day was held on 28 February 1909 in the remembrance of 1908 strike of the International Ladies ‘Garment Workers’ Union . It was organized by the Socialist Party of America.
An international Women’s Conference took place during the general meeting of the Socialist Second International in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1910. On the conference German Socialist Luise Zeitz proposed the idea of an yearly “International Woman’s Day”. The conference included a delegation of 100 women from 17 countries who agreed on the idea to promote equal rights for women. Then, on March 19, 1911, for the first time International Women’s Day was celebrated by millions of people in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. There were many protest that were happening in those years. But none of them happened on March, 8.
Still, Somehow the question remains the same: why do we celebrate it on March, 8 every year?The answer which I am going to give might sound illogical or funny to you. In 1914, International Women’s Day was held on March 8, because it was a Sunday and now we are following the same tradition.
The reason which gave IWD a huge presence in Europe was February Revolution in 1917. This revolution was on last Thursday of February (that year it was March, 8 in Georgian Calendar). During this revolution women in Saint Petersburg staged a strike for “Bread and peace” with the demand to stop the World War I.
In some of the countries it was originally called as International Working Women’s Day.
The Countries in which IWD is considered as an official holiday are –
Afghanistan, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Macedonia (for women only), Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia.
I would like to highlight few of the Women who devoted their entire lives for humanity.
Mother Teresa (26 August 1910 – 5 September 1997) also known as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, was an Albanian Roman Catholic religious sister and missionary. She was born in Skopje (modern Macedonia), then part of the Kosovo Vilayet in the Ottoman Empire. After having lived in Macedonia for some eighteen years, she moved to Ireland and then to India, where she lived for most of her life.
She devoted her complete life in serving people. Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation, which in 2012 consisted of over 4,500 sisters and was active in 133 countries. They run hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis; soup kitchens; dispensaries and mobile clinics; children’s and family counseling programs; orphanages; and schools.
Jane Addams (September 6, 1860 – May 21, 1935) was a pioneer American settlement activist/reformer, social worker, public philosopher, Woodrow Wilson identified themselves as reformers and social activists, Addams was one of the most prominent reformers of the Progressive Era. She helped turn America to issues of concern to mothers, such as the needs of children, local public health, and world peace.
In 1889 she co-founded Hull House, and in 1920 she was a co-founder for the ACLU. In 1931 she became the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and is recognized as the founder of the social work profession in the United States.
Emily Greene Balch (January 8, 1867 – January 9, 1961) was an American economist, sociologist and pacifist. Balch combined an academic career at Wellesley College with a long-standing interest in social issues such as poverty, child labor and immigration, as well as settlement work to uplift poor immigrants and reduce juvenile delinquency.
She moved into the peace movement at the start of the World War I in 1914, and began collaborating with Jane Addams of Chicago. She became a central leader of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) based in Switzerland, for which she won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1946.
And there are many, many, many women who devoted their lives to serve humanity.
Why Women’s Day is special for me
Let me first tell you a short story.
Few years back I was listening to a Hindu priest (who was well educated, had great knowledge of Vedas, and so on). He asked everyone if anybody knows:
Why only women can give birth to a child and not a men?
One person answered: because God has made a woman like that physically and biologically.
The priest said that is true. But why God made her like that?
Nobody had a proper answer to that.
Then the priest answered: because God made women, mentally and emotionally stronger than men.
Everybody knows that whenever a men is broken from inside he needs a women to listen to him, to understand him and to motivate him, it is your mother, lover, or sister. Because women are stronger than men.
It is scientifically proven that women are better managers than men.
There are a number of reasons. But let me come back to the point. Women’s Day is special for me because:
- I am thousands of mile away from my home, but whenever I feel pain or extreme happiness, I remember a lady who resides there, in India. Whenever I talk to her, she asks if I had a proper meal, if I was wearing woolens — it’s pretty much cold there. That lady is my mother;
- I remember those moments, when I was a kid, my sister used to tease me and care about me when my mother was away;
- I remember those moments, when my mother wept if I felt pain;
- I remember the unconditional love they give to me.
By this blog, I want to thank the women in my life for the pain they have taken for me.
A women is the only one who can love and trust you blindly without any personal benefit, whether she is you mother, your sister, your lover, or your partner.
So, we have one day to say thanks to every women in the world.
Dedicated to all the women,
Note: Some of the data is taken from Wikipedia