International women's day 2021

image captionWomen called for gender equality during this protest in Brasilia on International Women's Day in 2020

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You might have seen International Women's Day mentioned in the truyền thông or heard friends talking about it.

But what is it for? When is it? Is it a celebration or a protest? Is there an equivalent International Men's Day? & what virtual events will take place this year?

For more than a century people around the world have been marking 8 March as a special day for women.

image source, Topical Press Agency

International Women's Day, also known as IWD for short, grew out of the labour movement to become a recognised annual sự kiện by the United Nations (UN).

The seeds of it were planted in 1908, when 15,000 women marched through thành phố new york City demanding shorter working hours, better pay & the right lớn vote. It was the Socialist party of America who declared the first National Woman's Day, a year later.

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The idea to make the day international came from a woman called Clara Zetkin. She suggested the idea in 1910 at an International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen. There were 100 women there, from 17 countries, và they agreed on her suggestion unanimously.

It was first celebrated in 1911, in Austria, Denmark, Germany và Switzerland. The centenary was celebrated in 2011, so this year we're technically celebrating the 110th International Women's Day.

Things were made official in 1975 when the United Nations started celebrating the day. The first theme adopted by the UN (in 1996) was "Celebrating the past, Planning for the Future".

International Women's Day has become a date khổng lồ celebrate how far women have come in society, in politics and in economics, while the political roots of the day mean strikes & protests are organised khổng lồ raise awareness of continued inequality.

image source, AFP

It wasn't formalised until a war-time strike in 1917 when Russian women demanded "bread & peace" - và four days into the women's strike the Tsar was forced khổng lồ abdicate and the provisional government granted women the right to vote.

The date when the women's strike commenced on the Julian calendar, which was then in use in Russia, was Sunday 23 February. This day in the Gregorian calendar was 8 March - và that's when it's celebrated today.