Holidays in Azerbaijan: 8 March

8 March – International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day in Azerbaijan

8 March is an International Women’s Day. In the post-Soviet countries, including Azerbaijan, 8 March is a red-letter day and public holiday In the West, this holiday has not such wide popularity but is also celebrated as International Day of struggle for women’s rights and international world, and dedicated to women’s achievements in political, economic and social spheres of life (UN Resolution).

The holiday history starts from the end of the XIX century when women began fighting actively for their rights. On 8 March 1857 a manifest for the rights of female-workers, involved in garment and footwear factories was passed. It claimed for better working conditions and decent payment equal to that of men. This manifest resulted in improvement of women’s working conditions and establishment of the first women’s trade union. It served as a signal for one of the key moments in the emancipation history to start – granting voting power to women.

The idea to celebrate an international women’s day was put forward for the first time by Clara Zetkin at an International Conference of women-socialists, held in Copenhagen. Many women joined the struggle for their equality, the right to work, peace and also the struggle against poverty. In 1911 this holiday was celebrated for the first time on 19 March in Austria, Germany, Denmark and Switzerland. Russia celebrated this holiday for the first time in 1913, and on 8 March 1914 women from many world’s countries held a protest march against the First World War.

Upon establishment of the Soviet power, 8 March became an official holiday day in all the union’s republics, including Azerbaijan. In 1965 the day of 8 March was declared a public holiday. This tradition survived up to date. At present this holiday has lost its political meaning and became just the Day of all women, when men charge themselves with all work about the house, present gifts and flowers and arrange festive events for their mothers, wives, sisters and daughters.