The United Nations has declared March 8th to be a day when the world should celebrate, recognise and remember women and the accomplishments they have made to society. Apart from some of the former Soviet republics, the day is not celebrated to any extent across the world.
The date marks a mass protest that took place in New York on March 8, 1857, when women from sewing and shoe factories demonstrated for the same rights as men.
Men had recently won a 10hr workday, but women had been overlooked in the legislation and left on a 16hr workday.?The strike was well publicised and had considerable public support. As as a result May 8th became a traditional day for regular demonstrations in the US and Europe.?
In Russia the day has even more significance for women as it was also the date when Russian women first gained the right to vote in 1917. It would be three years later, before women in the US had the same rights.
The day was first celebrated in Russia in 1913, but did not become a national holiday until 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.