March 8 as “International Women’s Day” was officially adopted by the UN in 1977. However, the first celebration of “National Women’s Day” as it was then called was organized on February 28, 1909 in New York City by the Socialist Party USA to commemorate the strike of women workers in the textile industry on March 8, 1857 in New York City. Although this version was disputed by later researchers and due to political considerations, the date was eventually established to commemorate International Women’s Day.

Already in the early decades of the 20th century, women’s socialist organizations in America and Europe took a strong lead in establishing a Women’s Day, motivated by demands for better working conditions, the abolition of discrimination and the right to vote.

An important role in the establishment of March 8 as International Women’s Day was marked by the 1917 industrial workers’ revolution in Petrograd (St. Petersburg) with the slogan “Bread and Peace” and the adoption of this date as a national holiday by the Soviet Union.

Women’s Day is now celebrated all over the world to raise awareness, inform and defend the dignity of women. This year’s celebration has as its topic  Ιnvest in women: Accelerate progress. The many problems facing the planet today: the geopolitical conflicts, the ever-increasing levels of poverty, the environmental crisis can only be solved through decisions that empower women. Such initiatives could not only improve the position of women but also aim at overall prosperity and progress, as is now also demonstrated by measurable economic data.

Unfortunately, there is still a need for a day not only to recall women’s struggles for equality, but also to mobilize institutions, governments and policies to defend the position of women.

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