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  • Writer's pictureDefne Tangulu

Why is International Women's Day Celebrated?

On March 8, 1857, 40,000 weaving workers went on strike in a textile factory in New York City, USA, demanding better working conditions. However, 129 workers, mostly women, died as a result of the police attacking the workers and the workers being locked in the factory, and the workers were unable to escape from the barricades set up in front of the factory in the fire that followed. Workers more than 100 thousand people attended the funeral.

Clara Zetkin, one of the leaders of the German Social Democratic Party, proposed that March 8 be celebrated as International Women's Day in memory of the women workers who died in the textile factory fire on March 8, 1857, at the 2nd International Women's Conference (International Socialist Women's Conference) in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 26 – 27 August 1910. and the proposal was unanimously accepted.

In the early years, no specific date was set and it was celebrated on varying dates, but always in the spring. The determination of the date as March 8 was realized at the 3rd International Women's Conference held in Moscow in 1921. International Women's Day, which was banned to be celebrated in some countries between the First and Second World War, came to the fore more strongly when it started to be celebrated in the United States at the end of the 1960s. The United Nations General Assembly approved the celebration of March 8 as International Women's Day on 16 December 1977. In the section of the date of the day on the website of the United Nations, it is not written that the celebration was held in memory of the workers who died in New York.

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