8 March 2020

The DSA’s Cinzia Arruzza: “[T]he Socialist Party USA first established a day of education and action around women’s rights called ‘Woman’s Day’ in 1908, and the following year US socialists held demonstrations in several cities to demand women’s suffrage. In 1910, German socialist Clara Zetkin proposed the transformation of the US Woman’s Day into an international day of action — International Working Women’s Day — which, in 1914, started being celebrated on March 8. Three years later, on March 8, 1917, Russian women workers took to the streets in St. Petersburg, organizing a strike to demand bread and peace. It was the beginning of the Russian Revolution. When the United Nations declared IWD in 1975, it took care to remove the word ‘working’ from the title. This was only a first step toward the transformation of the day from a demonstration of working women’s struggles to a day of festivity in celebration of ‘women’ as such, returning to an essentialist or biology-based identity of women as natural mothers and caregivers.” International Women’s Day must be reclaimed as a day to honour the work — paid and unpaid — of all women, and to support their ongoing struggle for equality and control of their lives.