Inspired by the struggles of working class women and led by the early socialist movement, a strategy formed to hold an annual day to demand equal rights, suffrage, an end to sexual discrimination and for a new social order – and given the anti-capitalist spirit, most often socialist. The first International Women’s Day was observed on March 19, 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. More than one million women and men showed their support of women by participating in public events.
In 1977 following the long-standing movements for women to participate equally in society, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed a day for women’s rights and international peace. Following the United Nations’ lead, Canada chose March 8 as International Women’s Day. IWD has grown to become a global day of recognition and celebration. In many countries it is an official holiday. In Canada, more than 40 events will be held this year.
This article originally appeared on SocialistProject.ca.