Festa della Donna or International Women's Day.

Mar 8, 2009, 8:59 AM |

Today is Festa della Donna also known as International Women's Day. This day is hardly celebrated but should be. So here is more about it.

International Women's Day dates back to the early 20th century as women in Europe and America began to campaign for the right to vote. This, coupled with the battle for better pay and decent working conditions, especially in the textile industry, incited the socialist women of America to initiate the first Women's Day in the United States, in February 1908.

After women garment workers organized the Shirtwaist Strike in 1909 and the death of 129 female textile workers in the notorious Triangle Fire of 1911 in New York, feminists and socialists throughout Europe took an interest in Women's Day. Women from 17 countries attended the International Conference of Socialist Women in Copenhagen in 1911. At the conference Clara Zetkin proposed an International Women's Day, which was unanimously approved.

On March 8, 1917 working women of St. Petersburg protested for bread and peace giving rise to the so-called February Revolution. Alexandra Kollontai, one of the revolutionary leaders, convinced Lenin in 1918 to declare March 8 a national holiday in honor of the "heroic woman worker."

While this international holiday has been sponsored by the United Nations since 1975, not many people in the United States are familiar with it. Or perhaps, it is due to the Socialist  connection. Most people also forget that Women were the last to get the right to vote and even though they are 50% of the poplulation are in many respects treated like a second citizen.

So today as you go about your business, look around and take notice of the Women in your life and thank them for all that they do. Remember without them you, nor I would not be here.

For more in this event visit The International Womens Day website.