About IWD History
1909: The Woman’s National Committee of the Socialist Party calls for a
national day of protest on the last Sunday of February to support women’s
suffrage in the context of the broader movement for women’s rights,
workers’ rights, and social justice.
1910: The Women’s Congress of the Socialist International meets in August
in Copenhagen and approves the call for an international day of protest.
The specific date is left open to the participants in each country.
1913: Russian socialists begin celebrating International Women’s Day.
Their intention is to organize rallies for the same day as that set in the
United States, but since the Julian calendar lags several days behind the
Western calendar, the events take place in early March by our reckoning.
1917: The date of March 8 for International Women’s Day gets established
when tens of thousands of women, demonstrating on that day in Petrograd,
the capital of Russia, spark a revolution that topples three centuries of
1979: In Tehran, women’s rights activists celebrate International Women’s
Day by taking to the streets to demand equality for women and to protest
the reactionary order of the Ayatollah Khomeini calling for all Iranian
women to wear the veil.
About IWD and Peace
In August 1914, World War I erupted, leading to the slaughter of millions.
International Women’s Day became a focal point for those calling for an
immediate end to the war.
On February 23, 1917, (March 8 on the new
calendar), tens of thousands of Russian women celebrated International
Women’s Day by surging onto the streets of Petrograd demanding peace.
These militant protests led to the downfall of the czar and, soon
afterward, Russia’s decision to leave the war. Senseless war continues.
Once again we are told that military action in Iraq and Afghanistan is
intended to promote freedom and peace, and once again we know the real
reasons are about power and wealth.
As we demonstrate our opposition to
war and occupation this and every International Women’s Day, we
commemorate the heroic actions of the women in Petrograd in 1917 and the
women in Tehran in 1979. In doing so, we maintain an unbroken link in the
struggle for peace, justice, and equality.
About IWD and Power
International Women’s Day is about power: theirs and ours.
puts courts and legislatures in charge of whether or not a woman can have
an abortion. Our power leaves this decision where it belongs: with the
Their power dictates a profit-driven “managed care” health
care system, at the service of the health insurance industry and
transnational pharmaceutical companies. Our power lies in grassroots
organizing, for a national system of universal health care under community
Their power rests in greedy corporations owned by an ultra-wealthy few
that deplete the world’s resources and exploit its people. Our power
depends on building a mass movement for a new society rooted in
cooperation, equality, and workers’ control.
Their power dumps toxic waste sites in our poorest communities-of-color,
and builds dams that destroy the livelihoods of countless farmers in our
poorest countries. Our power demands environmental justice.
busts unions. Our power is at our work sites, talking with our co-workers
about the connections between workers’ rights, human rights, and women’s
Their power is “welfare reform” that pushes women into low-paid,
dead-end jobs, and their children into inadequate child care. Our power is
the fight for the creation of good jobs with pay equity and benefits, and
the full funding of quality child care, education, and social services.
Their power dupes young men and women into signing away their rights and
often their lives for the sake of U.S. imperialism. Our power gets the
word out on alternatives to “jobs” in the military and calls for huge cuts
in the military budget.
Their power blames hunger and poverty on
over-population. Our power blames hunger and poverty on policies and
practices consciously designed to protect and enrich the global capitalist
class, in particular the agribusiness of the most developed countries.
Their power gets channeled through politicians whose primary allegiance is
to the economic requirements of global capitalism. Our power gets exerted
through political action completely independent of both mainstream,
Their power resides in exploitation, inequality,
domination, violence, and deception. Our power resides in cooperation,
compassion, respectful communication, justice, and collective action.
March 8th — International Women’s Day — is our day. It’s our opportunity
to come together to speak out for a world where democratic socialist
feminist values and programs enable people to live lives in ways they
never will be able to under capitalism and patriarchy. That’s the truth.
That’s our power.