Ziua Internaţională a Femeii – cum a apărut această sărbătoare? March 8 – International Women’s Day – In Romania, it’s Happy Mother’s Day!

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Desi poate lucrurile s-au mai schimbat in Romania, noi am crescut sarbatorind mamele noastre de 8 Martie si continuam sa ne sarbatorim mamele, acele fiinte care ne-au crescut si ne-au format cel mai mult, din primele zile ale vietii noastre. Dumnezeu, Creatorul femeii,  sa binecuvanteze toate mamele si toate femeile.

photo credit www.eva.ro

Ziua Internaţională a Femeii, sărbătorită pe 8 martie, a fost mai întâi un simbol al luptei pentru drepturile femeilor care munceau, apoi o sărbătoare a mamelor în ţările din fostul bloc sovietic, iar în prezent este un prilej de bucurie şi răsfăţ pentru toate femeile din lume.

Apărută într-o vreme a marilor tulburări sociale, Ziua Internaţională a Femeii s-a ales şi cu moştenirea protestului tradiţional şi a activismului politic. În anii de dinainte de 1910, destul de multe femei din ţările dezvoltate industrial munceau. Slujbele lor, majoritatea în domeniul textilelor şi al serviciilor casnice, erau însă supuse discriminării sexuale şi erau plătite mult mai prost decât cele ale bărbaţilor. Au apărut organizaţiile sindicale, iar de aici până la revoltele industriale n-a mai fost decât un pas.

În SUA, opresiunea şi discriminarea fac ca femeile să devină tot mai implicate în campanii pentru a determina o schimbare. În 1908, 15.000 de femei au manifestat la New York cerând un program de muncă mai scurt, salarii mai bune şi drept de vot.

Un an mai târziu, în urma unei declaraţii a Partidului Socialist din America, prima Zi Naţională a Femeii a fost sărbătorită în SUA pe 28 februarie. Femeile americane au continuat să marcheze această sărbătoare în ultima duminică din februarie până în 1913.

În 1910, cea de-a doua Conferinţă Internaţională a Femeilor Muncitoare s-a ţinut la Copenhaga. O femeie pe nume Clara Zetkin, lidera organizaţiei femeilor din Partidul Social Democrat din Germania, a adus în discuţie ideea de a stabili o Zi Internaţională a Femeii, o sărbătoare care să fie marcată în aceeaşi zi în toate ţările, în sprijinul luptei femeilor pentru drepturile lor. Cele peste 100 de femei din 17 ţări care au participat la conferinţă, reprezentând sindicate, partide socialiste, cluburi de femei angajate şi incluzându-le pe primele trei femei alese în Parlamentul Finlandei, au aprobat în unanimitate ideea lansată de Clara Zetkin.

Astfel, în urmă cu 100 de ani, pe 19 martie 1911, a fost sărbătorită prima Zi Internaţională a Femeii, în Austria, Danemarca, Germania şi Elveţia. Peste un milion de femei şi bărbaţi au participat în această zi la manifestaţii pentru ca femeilor să li se acorde drepturi legate de muncă, dreptul la vot, educaţie şi de a deţine funcţii publice.

Cu toate acestea, la mai puţin de o săptămână, pe 25 martie 1911, a izbucnit incendiul de la fabrica de textile Triangle Shirtwaist, din New York, în care şi-au pierdut viaţa peste 140 de femei, multe dintre ele fiind imigrante de origine evreiască sau italiană şi având vârste cuprinse între 16 şi 23 de ani. Acest accident a atras atenţia asupra condiţiilor de muncă şi a dus la îmbunătăţirea legislaţiei americane în domeniu.

În zorii Primului Război Mondial, în timpul campaniilor pentru pace, rusoaicele au sărbătorit pentru prima dată Ziua Internaţională a Femeii în ultima duminică din februarie 1913. În acelaşi an, după consultări şi discuţii, Ziua Internaţională a Femeii a fost mutată pe data de 8 martie. În 1914, femeile din întreaga Europă au manifestat împotriva războiului şi pentru solidaritate între femei.

În 1917, în ultima duminică a lunii februaarie, femeile din Rusia au declanşat o grevă pentru „pâine şi pace”, după ce peste 2 milioane de soldaţi ruşi şi-au pierdut viaţa în timpul războiului. Această grevă s-a dovedit a fi prima etapă a Revoluţiei bolşevice, iar patru zile mai târziu, ţarul a fost forţat să abdice. Guvernul provizoriu a acordat femeilor dreptul la vot. Greva a început pe 23 februarie după calendarul iulian, ceea ce reprezintă ziua de 8 martie după calendarul gregorian, care este cel mai răspândit.

În urma Revoluţiei din octombrie 1917, bolşevica Alexandra Kollontai l-a convins pe Lenin să oficializeze Ziua Internaţională a Femeii în Uniunea Sovietică.

De la apariţia ei în cadrul mişcării socialiste, Ziua Internaţională a Femeii a căpătat tot mai multă recunoaştere de la an la an, ajungând să fie sărbătorită în ţările dezvoltate şi cele în curs de dezvoltare deopotrivă.

1975 a fost declarat „Anul Internaţional al Femeii” de Organizaţia Naţiunilor Unite (ONU). Începând cu acest an, Ziua Internaţională a Femeilor a fost adoptată de multe dintre guvernele ţărilor care până atunci nici nu aflaseră de existenţa ei.

Multe s-au întâmplat de-a lungul timpului de Ziua Femeii, unul dintre lucrurile spectaculoase petrecându-se în Iran, în 1982, când femeile au recurs la unul dintre cele mai curajoase gesturi ale existenţei lor: şi-au dat la o parte, întreaga zi, vălul care le acoperea faţa.

În prezent, Ziua Femeii, popularizată mai mult ca „Ziua Mamei” în perioada comunistă, este o sărbătoare oficială în Afganistan, Armenia, Azerbaidjan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodgia, China, Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazahstan, Kârgâzstan, Laos, Madagascar, Republica Moldova, Mongolia, Muntenegru, Nepal, Rusia, Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ucraina, Uzbekistan, Vietnam şi Zambia. Pe de altă parte, este sărbătorită, fără a fi o sărbătoare oficială, în ţări precum Croaţia, Serbia, Bulgaria, România şi Letonia.

În această zi se obişnuieşte ca bărbaţii să dăruiască flori şi mici cadouri femeilor din viaţa lor – soţiilor, iubitelor, mamelor, fiicelor şi colegelor. În România şi Bulgaria, se păstrează obiceiurile de dinainte de căderea comunismului, când, de 8 martie, de Ziua Mamei, copiii făceau cadouri mamelor, bunicilor, învăţătoarelor şi profesoarelor.

În România, Ziua Mamei a fost în schimb declarată sărbătoare publică începând din 2010 şi este sărbătorită în prima duminică a lunii mai.

Sursa: Mediafax

photo credit alex-dima.ro

Although in Romania, March 8th was predominantly celebrated as Mother’s Day, more recently it is celebrated as both Mother’s Day and International Women’s Day. We wish every woman God’s blessings today. Here is a history of this event from Wikipedia:

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women’s Day, is marked on March 8 every year. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women’s economic, political, and social achievements. Started as a Socialist political event, the holiday blended in the culture of many countries, primarily in Europe, including Russia. In some regions, the day lost its political flavor, and became simply an occasion for men to express their love for women in a way somewhat similar to a mixture of Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. In other regions, however, the political and human rights theme designated by the United Nations runs strong, and political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide are brought out and examined in a hopeful manner. This is a day which some people celebrate by wearing purple ribbons.

History

The earliest Women’s Day observances were held on many different dates: May 3, 1908, in Chicago; February 28th, 1909, in New York; and February 27, 1910, in New York

In August 1910 Test, an International Women’s Conference was organized to precede the general meeting of the Socialist Second International in Copenhagen. Inspired in part by the American socialists, German Socialist Luise Zietz proposed the establishment of an annual ‘International Woman’s Day’ (singular) and was seconded by fellow socialist and later communist leader Clara Zetkin, although no date was specified at that conference. Delegates (100 women from 17 countries) agreed with the idea as a strategy to promote equal rights, including suffrage, for women. The following year, on March 19, 1911, IWD was marked for the first time, by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. In the Austro-Hungarian Empire alone, there were 300 demonstrations. In Vienna, women paraded on the Ringstrasse and carried banners honouring the martyrs of the Paris Commune. Women demanded that women be given the right to vote and to hold public office. They also protested against employment sex discrimination. Americans continued to celebrate National Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February.

In 1913 Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February (by Julian calendar then used in Russia).

Although there were some women-led strikes, marches, and other protests in the years leading up to 1914, none of them happened on March 8. In 1914 International Women’s Day was held on March 8, possibly because that day was a Sunday, and now it is always held on March 8 in all countries. The 1914 observance of the Day in Germany was dedicated to women’s right to vote, which German women did not win until 1918.

In 1917 demonstrations marking International Women’s Day in Saint Petersburg on the last Sunday in February (which fell on March 8 on the Gregorian calendar) initiated the February Revolution. Women in Saint Petersburg went on strike that day for “Bread and Peace” – demanding the end of World War I and an end to Russian food shortages. Leon Trotsky wrote, „23 February (8th March) was International Woman’s Day and meetings and actions were foreseen. But we did not imagine that this ‘Women’s Day’ would inaugurate the revolution. Revolutionary actions were foreseen but without date. But in morning, despite the orders to the contrary, textile workers left their work in several factories and sent delegates to ask for support of the strike… which led to mass strike… all went out into the streets.”

Following the October Revolution, the Bolshevik Alexandra Kollontai persuaded Vladimir Lenin to make it an official holiday in the Soviet Union, and it was established, but was a working day until 1965. On May 8th, 1965 by the decree of the USSR Presidium of the Supreme Soviet International Women’s Day was declared a non-working day in the USSR „in commemoration of the outstanding merits of Soviet women in communistic construction, in the defense of their Fatherland during the Great Patriotic War, in their heroism and selflessness at the front and in the rear, and also marking the great contribution of women to strengthening friendship between peoples, and the struggle for peace. But still, women’s day must be celebrated as are other holidays.”

From its official adoption in Russia following the Soviet Revolution in 1917 the holiday was predominantly celebrated in communist and socialist countries. It was celebrated by the communists in China from 1922, and by Spanish communists from 1936.  After the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949 the state council proclaimed on December 23 that March 8 would be made an official holiday with women in China given a half-day off.

In the West, International Women’s Day was first observed as a popular event after 1977 when the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for women’s rights and world peace.

In the 1980s historian Renée Coté uncovered the origins of the March 8th date for International Women’s Day.Her research was published in 1984 in Canada, as, La Journée internationale des femmes ou les vrais dates des mystérieuses origines du 8 de mars jusqu’ici embrouillés, truquées, oubliées : la clef des énigmes. La vérité historique. Montreal: Les éditions du remue ménage.

Official Recognition in the USA

Actress and human right’s activist Beata Pozniak worked with the Mayor of Los Angeles, the Governor of California, and members of the U.S. Congress to achieve official recognition of the holiday in the USA. In 1994 Pozniak spearheaded introduction of the first bill in the history of the U.S. Congress (H.J. Res. 316) to recognize International Women’s Day in the United States.

In modern culture

The day is an official holiday in Afghanistan, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Macedonia (for women only), Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan,Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan,[Vietnam, and Zambia.

In some countries, such as Cameroon, Croatia, Romania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Bulgaria and Chile, the day is not a public holiday, but is widely observed nonetheless. On this day it is customary for men to give the women in their lives – friends, mothers, wives, girlfriends, daughters, colleagues, etc. – flowers and small gifts. In some countries (such as Bulgaria and Romania) it is also observed as an equivalent of Mother’s Day, where children also give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.International Women's Day poster

The 1932 Soviet poster dedicated to March 8 holiday. The text reads: „8th of March is the day of rebellion of the working women against kitchen slavery” and „Down with the oppression and narrow-mindedness of household work!”. Originally in the USSR the holiday had a clear political character, emphasizing the role of the Soviet state in the liberation of women from their second-class-citizen status.
International Women's Day poster
However, with time the meaning of the holiday evolved to an apolitical celebration of women. Most late Soviet March 8 postcards carried no political meaning.

In Armenia, after the collapse of the Soviet Union celebrations of IWD were abandoned. Instead, April 7 was introduced as state holiday of ‘Beauty and Motherhood’. The new holiday immediately became popular among Armenians, as it commemorates one of the main holidays of the Armenian Church, the Annunciation. However, people still kept celebrating IWD on March 8 as well. Public discussion held on the topic of two ‘Women’s Days’ in Armenia resulted in the recognition of the so-called ‘Women’s Month’ which is the period between March 8 and April 7.

The mimosa (technically, the Silver Wattle) is the symbol of the celebrations of Women’s day in Italy and Russia

In Italy, to celebrate the day, men give yellow mimosas to women. Teresa Mattei chose the mimosa as the symbol of IWD in Italy because she felt that the French symbols of the day, violets and lily-of-the-valley, were too scarce and expensive to be used effectively in Italy. Yellow mimosas and chocolate are also one of the most common March 8 presents in Russia and Albania.

In many countries, such as in Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Colombia, Estonia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine the custom of giving women flowers still prevails [within these regions only]. Women also sometimes get gifts from their employers. Schoolchildren often bring gifts for their female teachers, too.

In countries like Portugal groups of women usually celebrate on the night of March 8 in „women-only” dinners and parties.

In Pakistan working women in formal and informal sectors celebrate International Women’s Day every year to commemorate their ongoing struggle for due rights, despite facing many cultural and religious restrictions. Some women working for change in society use IWM to help the movement for women’s rights. In Poland, for instance, every IWD includes large feminist demonstrations in major cities.

In 1975, which was designated as International Women’s Year, the United Nations gave official sanction to, and began sponsoring, International Women’s Day.

The 2005 Congress (conference) of the British Trades Union Congress overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling for IWD to be designated a public holiday in the United Kingdom.

Since 2005, IWD has been celebrated in Montevideo, either on the principal street, 18 de Julio, or alternatively through one of its neighbourhoods. The event has attracted much publicity due to a group of female drummers, La Melaza, who have performed each year.

Today, many events are held by women’s groups around the world. The UK-based marketing company Aurora hosts a free worldwide register of IWD local events so that women and the media can learn about local activity. Many governments and organizations around the world support IWD.

70% of those living in poverty are women and Oxfam GB encourages women to Get Together on International Women’s Day and fundraise to support Oxfam projects, which change the lives of women around the world. Thousands of people hold events for Oxfam on International Women’s Day, join the celebration by visiting the website and registering their events.

In Taiwan, International Women’s Day is marked by the annual release of a government survey on women’s waist sizes, accompanied by warnings that weight gain can pose a hazard to women’s health.

Happy Mother’s Day, Romania!!!

photo credit mkalty.org

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