World Viewz

March 8, International Women's Day (IWD)

I'll start with something you can do in 3 min. Support the reintroduction of the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA). The bill was shot down in both the Senate and the House - HR5927

Here are 3 links to pre-written letters you can send to the Senete and Congress.

Women Thrive Worldwide

Human Rights Watch

Care (write your own I-VAWA or other concerns)


March 8, International Women's Day (IWD)
IWD is an official holiday in Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, China, Cuba, Georgia, Italy, Israel, Laos, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro,Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Zambia. In the USA March is 'Women's History Month'.

The 1932 Soviet poster dedicated to the 8th of March holiday. The text reads: "8th of March is the day of the rebellion of the working women against the kitchen slavery" and "Down with the oppression and narrow-mindedness of the household work!".

On 8 March 1857, women working in clothing and textile factories (called 'garment workers') in New York City, in the USA, staged a protest. They were fighting against inhumane working conditions and low wages. The police attacked the protestors and dispersed them. Two years later, again in March, these women formed their first labour union to try and protect themselves and gain some basic rights in the workplace.

1902 Australia - Women Vote
1906 Finland - Women Vote
Women's suffrage by country list

On 8 March 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter work hours, better pay, voting rights and an end to child labour. They adopted the slogan "Bread and Roses", with bread symbolizing economic security and roses a better quality of life.

First National Woman's Day in the USA 28 February 1909

In 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named a Clara Zetkin tabled the idea of an International Women's Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day - a Women's Day - to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women's clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Zetkin's suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women's Day was the result.

Following the decision agreed at Copenhagen in 1911, International Women's Day (IWD) was honoured the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women's rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination.

However less than a week later on 25 March, the tragic 'Triangle Fire' in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This disastrous event drew significant attention to working conditions and labour legislation in the United States that became a focus of subsequent International Women's Day events.

. . . on the eve of World War I, women across Europe held peace rallies on 8 March 1913.

On the eve of World War I campaigning for peace, Russian women observed their first International Women's Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. In 1913 following discussions, International Women's Day was transferred to 8 March and this day has remained the global date for International Women's Day ever since.

On the last Sunday of February, Russian women began a strike for "bread and peace" in response to the death over 2 million Russian soldiers in war. Opposed by political leaders the women continued to strike until four days later the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. The date the women's strike commenced was Sunday 23 February on the Julian calendar then in use in Russia. This day on the Gregorian calendar in use elsewhere was 8 March.

1920 USA - Women Vote
National Women's Day is an annual public holiday in South Africa on August 9. This commemorates the national march of women on this day in 1956 to petition against legislation that required African persons to carry the "pass", special identification documents which curtailed an African's freedom of movement during the apartheid era.

On August 9, 1956, 20,000 women staged a march on the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against the proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act (commonly known as the pass laws) of 1950. They left bundles of petitions containing more than 100,000 signatures at prime minister J.G. Strijdom's office door.

Outside they stood silently for 30 minutes, many with their children on their backs. Those who were working for whites as nannies were carrying their white charges with them. The women sang a protest song that was composed in honour of the occasion: Wathint'Abafazi Wathint'imbokodo! (Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock.). In the 50 years since, the phrase (or its latest incarnation: "you strike a woman, you strike a rock") has come to represent women's courage and strength in South Africa. The march was led by Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and Sophia Williams-De Bruyn.

Since 1994 August 9 is commemorated annually and is known as Women's Day in South Africa. In 2006 a reenactment of the march was staged for its 50th anniversary, with many of the 1956 march veterans attending.
So make a difference, think globally and act locally !! Make everyday International Women's Day. Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.

Following the October Revolution, the Bolshevik feminist Alexandra Kollontai persuaded Lenin to make it an official holiday in the Soviet Union, and it was established, but was a working day until 1965. On May 8, 1965 by the decree of the USSR Presidium of the Supreme Soviet International Women's Day was declared as a non working day in the USSR "in commemoration of outstanding merits of the Soviet women . . .

The 2005 Congress (conference) of the British Trades Union Congress overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling for IWD to be designated a public holiday in the United Kingdom.

IWD encountered violence in Tehran, Iran on March 4, 2007, when police beat hundreds of men and women who were planning a rally. Police arrested dozens of women and some were released after several days of solitary confinement and interrogation. Shadi Sadr and Mahbubeh Abbasgholizadeh, and several more community activists, were released on March 19th 2007, ending a fifteen day hunger strike.

Global UN Women's conferences 1975, 1980, 1985, 1995
In 1975 the UN drew global attention to women's concerns by calling for an International Women's year and convening the first conference on women in Mexico City. Another convention was held in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1980. In 1985, the UN convened a third conference on women in Nairobi, Kenya . . . In 1995, Beijing hosted the Fourth World Conference on Women. Representatives from 189 different countries agreed that inequalities between women and men has serious consequences for the well-being of all people. . . The final document issued by the conference (called the "Platform for Action") had this to say: "The advancement of women and the achievement of equality between women and men are a matter of human rights and a condition for social justice and should not be seen in isolation as a women's issue." Five years later, in a 23rd special session of the United Nations General Assembly, "Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the 21st Century" reviewed the progress the world has made towards achieving the goals set out by the Beijing conference. This conference has come to be known as the "Beijing +5" conference.

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) The USA has yet to ratify.

Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
Article 1 declares that discrimination against women is "fundamentally unjust and constitutes an offence against human dignity". "Discrimination" is not defined.

Article 2 calls for the abolition of laws and customs which discriminate against women, for equality under the law to be recognised, and for states to ratify and implement existing UN human rights instruments against discrimination.

Article 3 calls for public education to eliminate prejudice against women.

Article 4 calls for women to enjoy full electoral rights, including the right to vote and the right to seek and hold public office.

Article 5 calls for women to have the same rights as men to change their nationality.

Article 6 calls for women to enjoy full equality in civil law, particularly around marriage and divorce, and calls for child marriages tobe outlawed.

Article 7 calls for the elimination of gender discrimination in criminal punishment.

Article 8 calls on states to combat the trafficking of women and forced prostitution.

Article 9 afforms an equal right to education regardless of gender.

Article 10 calls for equal rights in the workplace, including non-discrimination in employment, equal pay for equal work, and paid maternity leave.

Article 11 calls on states to implement the principles of the Declaration.

Modeled after the [b]Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) - the most translated document in the world

Personal Note: Lately I've been depressed reading the "letters to the editor" blog posts at the bottom of internet news articles. The majority of posts I've read are written by conservative, including "ridiculously overly conservative" types (which makes the "average" conservative post look moderate and more credible). "Liberals" don't write or post as much as "conservatives" do (or take organized, funded, action)! Then I read a "conservative" article opposing the International Violence Against Women Act I-VAWA at conservative website I read the blog posts at the bottom and was really surprised to read 3 conservative women "lamblasting" the author for opposing I-VAWA. Inspiration is found in the strangest of places!

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