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Feminist and Gender Studies: Int'l Women's Day


"On March 8, 1857 women in the garment industry marched through New York City to protest their 12 hour a day sweatshop working conditions. Many were beaten by police. Two years later, again in March, they formed their own union. 

On March 8, 1908, again in NYC, 15,000 garment workers marched for shorter hours, better pay, an end to child labour, and the vote. For the first time the slogan "bread and roses" was heard in the streets -- bread, for economic justice, roses, for a better quality of life.

In 1910, at the suggestion of German socialist leader Clara Zetkin, the Socialist International adopted March 8 as International Women's Day, to honour these courageous struggles.

March 8, 1917 -- women garment workers in Petrograd struck to protest food shortages and horrible working conditions. Other workers rallied to their banner on this, the first day of the Russian Revolution...

March 8 commemorates a history of struggle for women's liberation. It provides a moment for us to pause, reflect and rededicate ourselves, women and men, to the goal of eliminating class, race and gender oppression. More importantly, the rich experiences of the women who fought these fights before us offer lessons for how we can carry on the struggle" (From "International Women's Day." Canadian Dimension 26.n2, 1992).

Listen to NPR

  • All Things Considered: Women's Day
    Commentator Jeffrey Tayler talks about the International Women's Day holiday in Russia, which happens on March 8th. He says it's one of the biggest holidays of the year in Russia, and requires a personal greeting from men to women.
  • The Tavis Smiley Show
    Karen Grisby Bates highlights two women: the late Barbara Jordan, a prominent member of the House Judiciary Committee that decided former President Richard Nixon's fate, and South African singer Miriam Makeba.

Women Speak on International Women's Day

Delegates at the Beijing +10 conference discuss women's issues on International Women's Day.

Women in the World

View an interactive slideshow of 150 Fearless Women in the world. They're starting revolutions, opening schools, and fostering a brave new generation. From Detroit to Kabul, these women are making their voices heard. From The Daily Beast.



Watch inspiring leaders and activists from around the globe—from Angelina Jolie to Madeleine Albright—at our third annual Women in the World Summit in New York City. From The Daily Beast.