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International Women’s Day

by Elena Schöber

Today is the official International Women’s Day! It was originally founded in times of the first world war to fight for women’s rights and especially for their right to vote.

It was first suggested by the German socialist Clara Zetkin in 1910 to create such an international day after the women’s movement in the US had initiated a successful day of protests for women’s rights in 1909. The first international women’s day was celebrated on March 19th in 1911 in Denmark, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Switzerland.

Between 1933 and 1945, when the International Women’s Day was banned in many European countries, socialist women “celebrated” the day on the 8th of March. As a sign of resistance, they distributed illegal information leaflets, they aired red items out of the window, or hung them up on their clothes lines.

Today the International Women’s Day is celebrated in more than 100 countries all over the world. This year we celebrate the 100th anniversary. The general theme of this year’s celebration will be “Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women“. But there is not only 1 theme that is chosen, it completely depends on the organisation, the country or the group which topic to choose. Lots of events will take place. Vienna will organise a large women’s demonstration on March 19th 2011, to celebrate the first women’s demonstration along the ring road on March 19th 1911 with 20,000 participants.

Go online and find out what is happening in your area today and in the next couple of days: Arts, music, literature, politics, demonstrations, sports, discussions…. there is something for everyone.

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