What Happens on International Women’s Day?

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“IWD” was first celebrated in 1911. It remains a day of high symbolism and public dispute–not only in the Western world.

  • International Women’s Day (IWD) has a long and controversial tradition. It was established by the communist activist and women’s rights advocate Clara Zetkin more than 100 years ago.
  • Nowadays, it is extremely popular in Eastern European countries like Russia or Belarus due to a long-standing practice in Soviet times. In these countries, it is common to present women with flowers.
  • In Western societies the holiday is more often used to remind people of a lack of equal rights or equal pay for women. Some feminists argue that the IWD does more harm than good.
  • The day is celebrated in authoritarian societies like China or Pakistan as well. In these places, the IWD can be used as an opportunity to raise issues that are being neglected in the public debate.
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