International Women’s Day

If you are a woman and you are reading this in a country other than the United States, I hope you enjoy International Women’s Day (IWD). It seems that this day is something like soccer and the metric system – another case in which America doesn’t conform to the rest of the world.

However, in researching the origins of IWD, I was surprised to find that it actually began in New York City in 1908 by the Socialist Party of America. The following year, the first National Women’s Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on February 28. Since then, it has expanded around the globe to become a day of recognition and celebration of women.

It is now held on March 8 and is an official holiday in many countries: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia.

In Romania, International Women’s Day came at the end of a weeklong Martisor celebration of springtime and love. Much broader than Mother’s Day, men are to honor any woman they admire (mother, grandmother, wife, sweetheart, teacher, or colleague) with flowers and small gifts. To all of you women out there, thank you for making the world a kinder place.

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