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International Women's Day

Public and National Holidays in RussiaNational Holiday in several countries

Women's Dayis celebrated on 8 March

When is International Women's Day?

How long until Womens Day?
This holiday next takes place in 286 Days.
Dates of Women's Day
Year Weekday Date
2018 Thursday March 8th
2017 Wednesday March 8th
2016 Tuesday March 8th
2015 Monday March 9th
Who observes Women's Day?
Angola Angola Armenia Armenia
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan Belarus Belarus
Cambodia Cambodia China China *
Georgia Georgia Kazakhstan Kazakhstan
Lao Lao Moldova Moldova
Mozambique Mozambique Nigeria Nigeria
Russia Russia Tunisia Tunisia
Uganda Uganda Ukraine Ukraine
Zambia Zambia
* Not a public holiday
Duration
1 Day
Summary
The UN has declared 8 March to be a day to celebrate, recognise and remember women

International Women's Day is celebrated on 8 March. For most of the countries who observe this holiday, if it falls on a weekend, it will be moved to the following Monday.

In China since 2014, women are entitled to a half day holiday for Women's Day.

History of International Women's Day

In 1977, the United Nations declared 8 March as International Women's Day, a day each year when the world should celebrate, recognise and remember women and the accomplishments they have made to society. Each year has a theme:

  • 2017: "Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030"
  • 2016: "Pledge for Parity"
  • 2015: "Empowering Women - Empowering Humanity: Picture It!"
  • 2014: "Equality for women is progress for all"


27 countries (mainly former Soviet republics) have adopted International Women's Day as a national holiday; and it is widely observed in several others.

It is often said that the date chosen for International Women's Day marks a mass protest that took place in New York on 8 March 1857, when women from sewing and shoe factories demonstrated for the same rights as men. Men had recently won a 10 hour workday, but women had been overlooked in the legislation and left on a 16 hour workday. As as a result 8 March became a traditional day for regular demonstrations in the US and Europe.

However, recent reports have cast doubt on whether this event ever took place, with newspapers of the time not reporting any such march.

Given how the holiday began in Russia, a more plausible source for the date is 1917 when Russian women marched to protest for 'Bread and Peace' on the last Sunday in February (which was 8 March in the Gregorian calendar in use in the rest of Europe). This march contributed to the Czar abdicating four days later and the new government granting women the right to vote. It would be three years later, before women in the US had the same rights.

Women's Day in Russia

In Russia, Women's Day is a significant and popular holiday. Its source in the events of 1917 that were part of the Russian revolution meant it was a holiday that was promoted by the Soviet regime.

The day first became a national holiday in 1965.

It is traditional on this holiday to present women with gifts and flowers to express appreciation for their work, love and devotion. It can be regarded as the same as mixing up elements of Mother's Day combined with some aspects of Valentine's Day.

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