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Womens' Day

Public and National Holidays in RussiaNational Holiday in several East European countries

International Womens' Day. Image: 123rf
Who observes Womens' Day?
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan Nigeria Nigeria
Russia Russia Ukraine Ukraine
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan China China *
* Not a public holiday

This holiday 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, on Womens' Day, all women are entitled to a half day holiday.

The United Nations has declared 8 March 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 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. The strike was well publicised and had considerable public support. As as a result 8 May became a traditional day for regular demonstrations in the US and Europe.

Womens' Day in Russia

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.

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