International Women’s Day shouldn’t be forgotten

International Women’s Day shouldn’t be forgotten – by Natalia Dagenhart  March 15 2017

I am proud to be a woman. I am happy that God gave me this gender. He gave me beauty, tenderness, wisdom, a loving heart and strength. I should never forget about it, as many other women in the world shouldn’t forget how great it is to be a woman. We are those, who give life, who keep this world moving, who present to the world beauty and kindness, and who should be honored by others and honor themselves. We even have a special day to do that and to remember who we are – the 8th of March, which is International Women’s Day.

This day has always been a very important day in my life and in the lives of all other people around me. I always knew that every year, on the 8th of March, my father would bring home flowers – for my mom and for me. He would also sign beautiful cards for us and give us small presents. And all other families would do the same and every woman in the family – whether she is 2 or 92 – would get some kind of recognition on that day.

Originally, this holiday wasn’t just about celebrating a woman because of her pure existence. This holiday has long and interesting roots and was first observed on February 28, 1909. It was organized by the Socialist Party of America in remembrance of the 1908 garment workers’ strike in New York, where women protested against working conditions. In 1910, the Second International Conference of Working Women took part in Copenhagen, Denmark, where International Women’s Day was established. The conference of over one hundred women from seventeen countries unanimously approved the proposal of this holiday; however, the fixed date of it was not established at that time. German socialist leader Clara Zetkin played a great role in this event. She recommended celebrating International Women’s Day in every country on the same day and to bring one meaning to it – to honor women’s rights and equality.

Since then, International Women’s Day has grown bigger and stronger and has become really popular in many different countries. It became extremely significant in my mother-country Russia and was even used as a mechanism for protesting World War I. In Russia, it was first observed on the last Sunday in February, 1913. Elsewhere in Europe, on or around 8 March of the following year, women protested the war and expressed solidarity with female activists from other countries.

In 1975, during International Women’s Year, the celebration of International Women’s Day was officially declared on March, 8. This great day is annually celebrated in many countries around the world in many different ways. In some countries, women are honored just for being women, for their beauty, wisdom, motherhood and kindness. However, in many places women are recognized for their achievements in many different areas of life independently from their national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political status.  Fighting for equal rights with men is still essential for women even in the 21st century, and it is an ongoing process.

However, for me personally, this day will forever associate with the flowers that my dad always gave me on the 8th of March. It will forever associate with that pleasant feeling of being beautiful, loved and cared for. Also, for me this day will always be a celebration of women’s beauty, tenderness, wisdom, a loving heart and strength. Because we, women, know, that no matter what happens to us, our families, and our countries – we will find strength, wisdom, energy and kindness to keep moving forward, being supportive and caring. And no matter what, we will keep shining, smiling, loving, nurturing and taking care of our loved ones. Because we are women; we can’t live differently.

Natalia Dagenhart

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