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I Bet You Didn’t Know This!

It all began in 1908. Great unrest and critical debate was occurring about and among women. Women’s oppression and inequality was causing women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. Then in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City, demanding shorter hours, better pay, and voting rights. In 1909, in accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman’s Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on the 28th of February. Women continued to celebrate NWD on the last Sunday of February until 1913.

Then, on the eve of World War I while campaigning for peace, Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. Later in 1913 following discussions, International Women’s Day was transferred to the 8th March and this day has remained the global date for International Women’s Day ever since.

Now here’s an interesting note that we at The Purple Tree particularly like. Also in 1908, the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in Great Britain adopted the color scheme of purple, white and green to symbolize the plight of the Suffragettes. Purple symbolized justice and dignity – two values strongly associated with women’s equality as well as The Purple Tree!

The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) on the 8th of March during International Women’s Year 1975. Two years later, in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.

So women have been working together for 107 years to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. “How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” — Maya Angelou, African American Poet