March 8 is International Women’s Day. It is a day of struggle across the globe, where the battle of women – for our own liberation and our contributions to the fight for a better world – are put at center stage.
International Women’s Day grew out of the struggle of working women in United States. In 1908, women, mainly from the garment industry, came together in New York City’s Rutgers Square to demand a strong union in the needle trades and the right to vote. In 1910, German revolutionary Clara Zetkin, having heard of the powerful protest in New York, proposed that March 8 be celebrated as International Women’s Day worldwide. Today, it is a holiday celebrated by millions of working people.
On March 8, the truth should be restated: the stronger the role of women in the people’s struggle, the stronger our movement as whole. It only stands to reason; women are one half of the population, and anything that limits the participation and leadership of women will weaken our collective efforts.
On March 8 we reaffirm our commitment to build the fight for the demands of working women and women of color, as well as the basic demands of the women’s liberation movement for equal rights, equal pay for comparable work, quality and affordable childcare, affirmative action and full reproductive rights. We restate our belief that the women’s liberation movement can only achieve its objectives through the full participation and leadership of working-class women and women of color.
International Women’s Day, along with May Day – International Worker’s Day – are the two great days of celebration and struggle that were born in the U.S. and have been taken up by working people everywhere. We urge every reader of this paper to participate in the celebrations being held in your city.