Many people celebrate Women’s Day on March 8th, but how many of them know the true meaning of this historical event?
It is one of the major Italian festivals that has long been part of the traditions of our beautiful country, but when did it start?
First of all, let’s start by saying that Women’s Day, more correctly called International Women’s Day, is dedicated to recognizing the long struggles and conquests obtained over the years by women for the achievement of equal rights with the male sex, in the legal, economic and political field and is also an invitation against discrimination and violence of which, they are victims in many parts of the world even today.
But what is the origin of Women’s Day?
This celebration has origins since the event that the American Socialist Party organized on February 28th, 1909 supporting the right of women to vote. In fact, it was precisely those years when women began to act strongly to claim their rights in social issues.
On that occasion women also striked for the first time, they came forward without fear to express their discomfort, to demand an increase in salary and improvement of working conditions.
When a couple of years later the Triangle factory in New York went up in flames and almost 150 women lost their lives, the feminist movement revolted, even reaching Europe. But, contrary to what most people think, the celebration of the anniversary does not begin following that terrible event, since the roots had deeper origins and linked to the socialist political movement.
In fact, this celebration was born in the United States as Woman’s Day, on May 3, 1908, when, during a conference of the Socialist Party in Chicago, the socialist Corinne Brown discussed the exploitation of the employers against workers and sexual discrimination suffered in terms of wages and working hours.
However, it was only after the revolt of the women in St. Petersburg asking for the end of the war and the collapse of the Tsarist power, which saw the beginning of the Russian Revolution on March 8th and which remained as the date dedicated to the “International Day of the working woman”.
In Italy, International Women’s Day began to be celebrated only five years later after that event, by initiative of the Communist Party of Italy, and only in 1946 it consolidated itself throughout the country.
On December 16, 1977, the General Assembly of the United Nations asked each country to indicate one day a year to be dedicated to women, the “United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace” which recognized in 8th March the official date, already celebrated for several years in many countries.
There is a also a significant story behind the choice of mimosa. In fact, it is thought that the decision is to be attributed to three women members of the Italian women’s union (UDI), namely Rita Montagnana, Teresa Noce and Teresa Mattei, who proposed using this flower as a symbol because the mimosa flowers in the first days of March.