The International Women's Day (IWD) has become an occasion to celebrate women and their accomplishments. Here's the history of how March 8 became International Women's Day.
  1. In 1908, the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union organised two mass strikes in New York to protest against long working hours, low wages and dilapidated working conditions under which women worked in the garment industry in the United States.
  2. In 1909, the Socialist Party of America later observed February 28 as Women's Day to commemorate the ILG strike.
  3. In 1910, the socialists organised an International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen. German Communist leader Clara Zetkin proposed the idea of an annual day of working women.
  4. International Women's Day was celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on March 19, 1911. This date was to commemorate the 1848 French Revolution and the Paris Commune.
  5. Russian women started observing the International Women's Day on the last Sunday in February 1913.
  6. In 1917, demonstrations on International Women's Day at St. Petersburg, Russia, where women demanded "bread and peace" gave birth to the February Revolution. This eventually brought the First World War to an end and decline of Tsar regime.
  7. This key date, the last Sunday of February 1917, becomes March 8 on the Gregorian Calendar, which is now used across the world but had not been adopted in Russia at that time.
  8. 60 years later, in 1977, the United Nations proclaimed March 8 as the UN Day for women's rights and world peace. In January 2011, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women also known as UN Women was formed.