“The earliest Women’s Day observance was held on February 28, 1909, in New York and organized by the Socialist Party of America. On March 8, 1917, in the capital of Russian Empire, Petrograd, a demonstration of women textile workers began, covering the whole city. This was the beginning of the Russian Revolution. Seven days later, the Emperor of Russia Nicholas II abdicated and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. March 8 was declared a national holiday in the Soviet Russia in 1917. The day was predominantly celebrated by the socialist movement and communist countries until it was adopted in 1975 by the United Nations.”
From The Guardian: Today, women in more than 50 countries “will go on strike from paid and unpaid labour…while millions more will be taking part in direct action on what is set to be one of the most political International Women’s Days in history. [….]
Organisers of the International Women’s Strike have joined forces with coordinators of the Women’s March and hundreds of human rights and women’s campaigners to capitalise on momentum in the movement in the wake of Donald Trump’s election. Up to 2 million people around the world marched for equality in January the day after his inauguration.
The Women’s March – which now has organisers across 200 cities in 80 countries – has called on supporters not to engage in paid or unpaid labour and only spend money in small and female-owned businesses. Recognising that the poor financial situation and rigid work laws mean many will not be able to take part in a physical strike [like my dear wife, who works in a hospital], organisers are urging supporters to wear red [hence the red shoes my wife wore today, despite the fact that, as she said, ‘they don’t go with my outfit’], a colour historically associated with the labour movement, in solidarity. In other countries women will wear black, or different colours, while the focus on issues from femicide to abortion will be decided in each nation.
The International Women’s Strike, meanwhile, is suggesting that women ‘boycott local misogynists,’ stop shopping, go on a sex strike, block roads and streets, and take part in marches or pickets. Women are also encouraged to leave creative and impassioned ‘out of office’ replies, talking about why they are striking.
The strike is partly inspired by the women of Iceland, where in 1975 25,000 women gathered on the streets of Reykjavik and 90% of the female population did not go to work, cook, clean or take care of children.”