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The History of International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day (IWD) originally began as National Woman’s Day and was observed across the United States on February 28, 1909 as women demanded shorter working hours, better pay and voting rights. In 1910, the second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A German 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 be unified in their demands. The conference was attended by over 100 women from 17 countries and they represented unions, socialist parties, working women’s clubs and included the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament. The group unanimously approved the suggestion, taking the first steps towards the International Women’s Day we know today.

International Women’s Day (IWD) was honored the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on March 19, 1911. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination. However, on March 25, the tragic ‘Triangle Fire’ in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women and drew attention to working conditions and labor legislation in the United States. These important issues became a focus of subsequent International Women’s Day events.

Since then, International Women’s Day has grown to become a global day of recognition and celebration around the world. The United Nations made 1975 ‘International Women’s Year’. That year the first World Conference on Women was held in Mexico City. The 1975 conference and International Women’s Year were part of the United Nations’ Decade of Women (1976–85). The United Nations held its Fifth Conference on Women in March 2012. These conferences are used to coordinate international efforts for women’s rights and participation in social, political and economic processes. Since 1975, Governments and women’s organizations around the world have observed IWD annually on March 8th by holding events that honor women’s advancement and focusing on the continued steps and action required to ensure that women’s rights are realized in everyday life.

IWD is now an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. On this day, men honor their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD is celebrated like Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.

The political and human rights theme designated by the United Nations has been adopted by other regions and countries. Activists and leaders strive to bring political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide to the forefront by celebrating achievements, highlighting important world events and focusing on problems still needed to be addressed. Thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women.

The United States now designates the whole month of March as “Women’s History Month.”

Black Women for Wellness is not only proud to take part in International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month each year but is also committed to striving for the civic, reproductive, environmental and health rights of women and girls every day. Every step we take at BWW and every effort we undertake is towards the goal of health and wellness of our communities.

Click here to take the International Women’s Day Quiz!

Enjoy an evening featuring Kitchen Diva chefs offering global cuisines paired with international wines, network with people working locally impacting globally on the issues important to women & girls, support with your donation the work of Black Women for Wellness.

March 8, 2014 (Saturday)
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Los Angeles Turner Center
8946 Sepulveda Eastway
Los Angeles CA 90045

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Purchase Tickets Here:

— Tickets $75.00
— VIP Reception $100.00

  • Order using check or money order

Make payable to Black Women for Wellness
P.O. Box 292516
Los Angeles, CA 90029

  • Call 323 290 5955 to order by phone

Adults only (must be 21+ to participate)

Click here to Sponsor the Event