The first International Women’s Day it was celebrated in the United States in 1909 and in the following years, although on different days, more and more countries have joined this initiative which celebrates women and all their peculiarities. In Italy the first Women’s Day was held in 1922.
The true origins this day, however, are not well known, above all because, as often happens, ideologies and political struggles have repeatedly clouded the waters of historical memory.
The first Woman’s day was an initiative a clear socialist stamp which was born in the historical context of the struggle to obtain the Universal suffrage and more rights for women.
During the II Socialist International in fact, the members of Congress pushed for the global organization of demonstrations and events to promote the cause of the so-called “suffragette”, women committed to the fight against the extension of the female vote.
The invitation was accepted by the American Socialist Party that the February 23, 1909 celebrated the first official day dedicated to the Woman.
The following year the theme was taken up again during the International Conference of Socialist Women held in Copenhagen e Clara Zetkin, Secretary of Congress, ratified the institution of International Women’s Day in all participating European countries.
In the States the party remained on the last Sunday of February, while in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland the chosen day was March 19 (the first time was celebrated in 1911).
The outbreak of the First World War however he interrupted the annual frequency of the celebrations.
The idea of a day devoted to female strength, however, was not set aside and in 1921 the Second Conference of Communist Women established for theMarch eight International Women’s Day (understood as a worker and an active part of society).
The chosen date was meant to remember one anti-tsarist female demonstration which had been repressed in St. Petersburg in 1917, sparking the spark that then led to the Russian Revolution.
In Italy the first International Women’s Day was held in 1922 on the initiative of the Italian Communist Party.
Of course, the “red” matrix of the event, also thanks to the post World War II evolution of the conflict between the Western world and the Soviet Union, meant that the true origins of the festival were forgotten, replaced by less political motivations and of strong symbolic impact.
The best known (but equally false) version would like to trace the day of 8 March back to the memory of burning of an unspecified American factory in which more than a hundred workers died who had been locked inside the building to avoid a strike. Although the episode holds a certain emotional and symbolic charge, it is still not the real cause behind the origin of the Women’s Day.
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SOURCE: Tilde Capomazza, Marisa Ombra, 8 March. A century-long history, Pavona di Albano Laziale, Iacobelli, 2009; Telegraph