The Inspiration for International Women`s Day
IWD was inspired by a mass meeting on women`s suffrage called by the New York City Social Democratic Women`s Society in 1908. The American Socialist Party held National Women`s Day on the last Sunday in February 1909.
Mother of IWD, German Socialist, Clara Zetkin, an extraordinary feminist who spent her lifetime committed to the advancement of women, organised the creation of IWD at a conference in 1910.
The first formal IWD was the result of a resolution formally adopted by the International Conference of Socialist Women in Copenhagen in 1910. More than 100 delegates from 17 nations came together on the eve of the International Socialist Conference. The resolution to adopt IWD was unanimous.
The first IWD was held on 19 March 1911. About a million women and men participated in Denmark, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This date was chosen by German women to commemorate the day in 1848 when the Prussian King promised women the vote. The use of the date March 8 has continued since 1918.
United Nations Recognition
The General Assembly of the United Nations passed a resolution in 1977 inviting each country to proclaim, in accordance with its historical and national traditions, any day of the year as United Nations Day for Women`s Rights and International Peace. For most countries, IWD is observed on 8 March.
Green, white and purple were the colours first used in 1908 by those who demanded votes for women in England.
White for purity, purple for dignity, self-reverence and self-respect and green for hope.