Did you know that in World War 1, over 2 million Russian soldiers died in war? In rightful indignation and response, Russian women started going on strike. They protested that they should be allowed more rights, voting amongst them, that may lead to better government and prevention of future tragedies. The political leaders strongly disagreed with the women, so they remained on strike for four days. Finally, the Czar (the dictator and emperor) had to give up his power and the Government, at long last, allowed women the right to vote. This victory was achieved on Sunday, February 23rd, 1917, according to the Julian calendar in Russia. This was only one of several movements by women that were happening around the world. International Women’s day was already being created, but what happened in Russia determined that International Women’s day would always take place on March 8th.
The first to come up with the Women’s Day was the Socialist Party of America, and the 1910 International Socialist Women’s Conference wanted the Women’s Day to become a regular event. Before women’s day began to take place in the United Nations, it only happened in the socialist movement and communist countries. Now, however, Women’s Day is well known and recognized.
Imagine living in a world where you could not get education from school, get jobs, or have the right to vote. In older times, women were forced to stay at home and do nothing except for cooking for their families. Just think, without school and without ever being allowed to leave the house, you may never have made the friendships and connections you have now. Women used to be defined as lower-class than men, people didn’t believe in their capability to stand up for themselves and make decisions. Of course, that perspective is completely biased. Women and men are on almost equal ground now, but women will continue to fight for equal footing.
We have made great leaps from the time when the women were undervalued and unappreciated. Now almost all women in first world countries have the right to vote, an education, pursue any chosen career path, and even run for office. Women still do not have these rights in many third world countries. Even here, there still appears to be a difference between men and women’s pay, even with controlled factors in the workplace to stop the difference in profits. This is most likely due to gender discrimination, and further evidence suggests more women are hired if the employer doesn’t know the applicant’s gender prior to meeting them. We continue to work towards creating a world where women and men are undisputedly equal, but some small misfortunes still remain. International Women’s day will go on, and women will determinedly continue to remind everyone that both genders should and will be considered equal.