March 5, 2012

March is Women's History Month

As you may know, March is Women’s History Month, and March 8 is International Women's Day!  Here’s a bit of history on how this day came to be…

1908:  15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter work hours, better pay and voting rights.

1909:  In conjunction with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman's Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on February 28.

1910:  At the 2nd International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen, a woman named a Clara Zetkin proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day - a Women's Day – to raise awareness and create change.

The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries representing unions, socialist parties, working women's clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, unanimously approved the establishment of International Women's Day.

1911:  International Women's Day was recognized for the first time across the European continent, and more than one million women and men attended rallies campaigning for women's rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office, and to end discrimination.

Less than a week after this rally, the tragic 'Triangle Fire' in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants, drawing significant attention to working conditions and labor legislation in the United States.

1913:  On the eve of World War I and campaigning for peace, Russian women observed their first International Women's Day on the last Sunday in February 1913.  Also that year, International Women's Day was moved to March 8.
1975:  This year was designated as “International Women's Year” by the United Nations.

2010:  IWD is now an official holiday across the world, with a tradition of recognizing and honoring women.  In some countries, the day has the equivalent status of Mother's Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.

Take a moment to celebrate the work of Chrysalis on International Women’s Day, and enjoy watching this wonderful history of how innovation by women have affected women in the workplace.  The video was created by Kronos, the company that created time clocks for the workplace: