Women’s Day in Azerbaijan
Women’s Day in Azerbaijan has been celebrated in the country since Soviet times.
Although Women’s Day is not widely observed in the West, its origins are actually traced back to demonstrations in New York City which were staged for the rights of female workers employed in garment and footwear factories. Aside from effecting positive changes in women’s working conditions, the protests helped to establish the first women’s trade union and laid the foundations for women’s suffrage.
Some years later, the idea to celebrate International Women’s Day was put forward by activist Clara Zetkin at the International Socialist Conference of Women Workers, held in Copenhagen in 1910. The following year, Austria, Germany, Denmark and Switzerland first celebrated Women’s Day, with Russia adopting the holiday two years later. Upon establishment of the Soviet Union, the 8th of March became an official holiday in all Soviet republics. It was declared a public holiday in 1965 and continues to be observed as such in Azerbaijan.
The holiday has long been dissociated from its political origins, having instead evolved into a day for celebrating women. On Women’s Day in Azerbaijan, men organize special gatherings and buy gifts and flowers for their mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, friends and coworkers. It is not uncommon for them to organize an elegant dinner for their female relatives or friends, or to take responsibility for household chores on this day.
International Women’s Day is quickly becoming a globally-recognized holiday dedicated to the celebration of women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements. The day is also recognized by the United Nations for its promotion of gender equality.