The significance of International Women’s Day

By FEDEVAL, PERU

"International Women’s day" is celebrated on 8 March, and is a day of recognition of women as makers and their struggle for liberation and equality. During this day, we also re-affirm our commitment to self-employed workers to implement policies that are equal between women and men. FEDEVAL would like to strengthen the development of a social model that is more just and equal in rights, in employment and self-employment, in economic involvement and in society.

International Women's Day International Women's Day
International Women's Day International Women's Day

"The history of women’s struggle for equality does not belong to any single feminist alone, nor to any organisation, but to the collective efforts of all of us that care about human rights".

Women, grandmothers, mothers, daughters, granddaughters, nieces, the 8th of March is your day! It is a day to remember the role and dignity of women in the process of growing human awareness of their value in society. It is a day to protest and to highlight the importance of the action of women in all areas of life.

One day is not enough to celebrate a constant and tireless daily struggle. One day is too little to recognise the participation of women in building a family, in the conquest of the labour market, in the fight for freedom of thought and choice, to reach the place to which they have a right.

We also demand more rights: to achieve a place in the policy for the fair redistribution of wealth, because there is still very high proportion of women who remain in the informal economy, where women still are the majority; the need to achieve one of their most long-standing claims: the equal right to decent work opportunities; we need more child care facilities so that women do not have to choose between motherhood and paid employment.

This day dedicated to working women, is due to a tragic incident in the borough of Manhattan in the United States in 1908, when more than a hundred women, who worked in a textile company, died while conducting a strike for more security and better occupational health conditions, and against low wages. They agreed to strike as a protest against their precarious working conditions. It was the first time women came together to demand improvements in labour conditions and, therefore their rights. They demanded a reduction in hours of work, which was 16 hours to 10 hours a day. Furthermore, in addition to working those hours, they received only a third of the wages paid to men.

Their rebellion was met in a violent manner, resulting in the death of 129 workers by burning inside the factory. Many years later, in 1910, during an International Women’s Conference held in Denmark, came the idea of creating a specific date to honor the workers killed in the textile factory. In 1975, The General assembly of the United Nations organisation (UNO) decided to celebrate March 8 as an International Day for working women.