International Women’s Day- A History



The Women’s Center at Ohio University is happy to host International Women’s Day this year on Sunday, March 16th. International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate women, their achievements, their struggles, and their experiences all around the world. While the Women’s Center has hosted the event here at OU for many years, International Women’s Day has a much longer history.


International Women’s Day is marking its 104th anniversary this year, making it older than the Panama Canal. Clara Zetkin first thought of the holiday in 1910 while she was at the International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen. She wanted there to be one day per year in which women from a myriad of countries could express their demands and allow for change. The conference (comprised of members of unions, socialist parties, and women members of the Finnish parliament) approved of Zetkin’s suggestion, allowing for the creation of International Women’s Day.


The first International Women’s Day took place on March 19th the following year. Not only was Clara Zetkin able to make her idea a reality when she hosted the first year’s celebration, she was also able to create a long-lasting tradition. As Zetkin hoped, every year women from all over the world have a day that highlights them, their experiences, their struggles, and their triumphs. It is a day when women can bring their issues to the table, to ensure that they be discussed. International Women’s Day is now an official holiday in China, Armenia, Russia, Mongolia, Vietnam, and many other countries. It is a day in which men honor their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, and, more currently, female Facebook friends.


The Women’s Center will be celebrating International Women’s Day in the Baker Ballroom on Sunday (March 16th). We hope to see you there, so that we can celebrate the 104th anniversary of this great holiday together!


By: Hannah Abrahamson


About Ohio U Women's Center

The Ohio University Women’s Center serves and responds to the needs of OU women students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the community. Founded in 2007, the center is dedicated to creating an inclusive and welcoming campus climate for all members of the community through programs, resources, referrals, advocacy, and education. Located in Baker University Center 403.
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