March 8th Women¡¯s Day
International Labor Women¡¯s Day, also called ¡°the UN Day for Women¡¯s Right and International Peace¡± or ¡°March 8th Day,¡± is s glorious holiday to commemorate all the women¡¯s struggle throughout the world for peace, democracy,and liberation.
On march 8th ,1857, the women workers in the clothes and textile factories of New York held a demonstration to protest the non-humane working environment, 12-hour working system and low salary. The demonstrations were sieged and finally dispelled by policemen. Two years later, and in March again, these women organized the first trade union.
On March 8th , 1908, 1,500 women gave a parade in New York City and asked for shortening the work time, improving the work wage, having the right for vote, and forbidding using child labor. The slogan they brought forward was ¡°Bread and Rose,¡± in which bread symbolized economic safeguard and rose symbolized better life quality.
On March 8th , 1909, the women workers in Chicago went on a great strike and held a protest demonstration. They demanded to increase wages, implement 8-hour work system, and get the right to vote.
In March 8th , 1910, the Second International Conference of Socialist Women from 17 countries was held in Copenhagen, Denmark. They discussed some important issues concerning opposing militaristic armament, protecting children¡¯s rights, struggling for 8-hour work system and women¡¯s rights for vote, and etc. Mrs.Clara Zetkin, a Geman socialist revolutionist and an international women movement leader, advocated that March 8th should be stipulated as International Women¡¯s Struggling Day so as to unite all the working women throughout the world together to oppose the imperialistic aggressive wars, oppose oppression, and struggle for women¡¯s own rights and liberation. This proposal was completely agreed at this conference, that March 8th would be set as International Labor Women¡¯s Day.
In China, it was in 1924 that celebrations were held for the first time to commemorate the March 8th International Labor Women¡¯s Day. Presided by the famous women activist HeXiangning(1878-1972), Chinese women from all circles gathered together in GuangZhou to commemorate this Women¡¯s Day. They raised such slogans as ¡°Down with imperialistic warlords,¡± ¡°Abolish multi-wife system,¡± ¡°Forbid concubinage,¡± which showed their will of opposing imperialism, opposing feudal system, and sticking up for women¡¯s rights. From then on, celebrations were held every year on this day. After the foundation of the People¡¯s Republic of China, the central government made a regulation that March 8th of every years would be festival of Chinese women. On that day all the women enjoy a half-day holiday, and celebrations and activities will be held too.
In 1997, the 32nd UN Congress formally determined March 8th as ¡°the UN Day for Women¡¯s Rights and International Peace.¡±