International Women’s Day is celebrated worldwide on March 8 in honor of women’s rights and role in the society. It has a rich history that circles around a popular apocryphal story claiming that it was the women from textile and clothing factories who had staged a protest on March 8, 1857 in New York City. The incident marked the beginning of observing Women’s Day around the world, and is considered to hold huge significance in shaping the history of International Women’s Day.
The story reveals that garment workers in New York City were protesting against low wages and extreme poor working conditions when they were attacked and dispersed by police. This incident occurred in 1857, and on its 50th anniversary in 1907, a protest rally was led to observe the event. According to Temma Kaplan, “neither event seems to have taken place, but many Europeans think March 8, 1907, inaugurated International Women’s Day.” Therefore, the incidents remain to be apocryphal stories that shape the history of Women’s Day around the world.
Contemplating about the origin of 1857 legend, Francoise Picq and LilianeKandel suggested it is likely that some people considered it more appropriate to uproot the link of International Women’s Day from its presence in Soviet history and attribute to it an “international” origin. The event can be painted older than Bolshevism and even more impulsive than the Congress’s decision or the proposal of those women which affiliated to the Party. The story around the Women’s Day may not have any existence, believe experts today.