As you all know, International Women’s Day is celebrated all over the world on March 8 every year. This special day started to be celebrated in Turkey for the first time in 1921. So have you ever wondered about the story behind International Women’s Day? This article will tell you the surprising, little-known story behind this occasion. Here we go!
The story starts on March 8, 1857 at a textile factory in New York
In 1857, a total of 40,000 female employees working at a textile factory in New York, U.S. went on strike for better working conditions. Then the police arrived at the scene and intervened in the women’s protest to fight for their rights by use of violence. And the factory owner came up with the idea of locking the employees in the factory to quash the rebellion. In the midst of all this, a fire broke out at the factory for an unknown reason. As it was very hard for the employees to escape from the area due to the police barricades set in front of the factory 120 of the women were tragically killed in the fire. More than 10,000 people showed up at the funerals of those women who lost their lives fighting for their rights.
February 28, 1909 - National Women’s Day
In 1909, years after this tragic incident, 15,000 female employees marched again in New York to demand healthier working conditions. The Socialist Party of America supported the women in their protest and announced February 28, 1909 as National Women’s Day.
The first Women’s Day observance
In 1910, it was suggested at the International Socialist Women’s Conference that that day should be recognized as Women’s Day to commemorate those women who died in the fire. This suggestion was accepted by the majority of votes, and March 19, 1911 marked the first observance of Women’s Day with the attendance of hundreds of women.
March 25, 1911 - Fire at Triangle Factory
On March 25, 1911, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory of New York suffered from a fire as tragic as the one in March 8. 123 female and 23 male workers died in this fire as the doors to the exits were locked to prevent employees from stealing factory belongings.
8 March - International Women’s Day
Previously there wasn’t any specific day designated for Women’s Day, but the events were generally taking part in spring months. This meaningful day took its final name in 1921, and decided to be celebrated on March 8 every year under the name International Women’s Day.
It was in 1977 when the United Nations first recognized March 8 as the International Women’s Day. And as we mentioned above, this day of significance has been celebrated in Turkey since 1921. In short, March 8 celebrations began to commemorate the tragic death of those working women who died fighting for their rights, and today this tradition continues all over the world...
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