The very first International Women’s Day was launched by Clara Zetkin, leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany, in 1911 – a few decades after Henry Maudsley, eminent psychiatrist, said that “a woman does not easily regain the vital energy that was recklessly spent on learning”.
Plans for the first International Women’s Day demonstration were spread by word of mouth and in the press. Articles began to appear which questioned the equality of women in the government and in society.
On the day itself, meetings in villages halls were packed so full that male workers were asked to give up their places for women. Men stayed at home with their children for a change.
In 1975, the United Nations gave IWD official recognition and it is now marked by a national holiday in China, Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
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