By GNHLHA Member Joelle Fishman
Today, as public workers are under attack, we salute and stand in solidarity with the leadership of women struggling for union rights, equal pay, social justice and peace.
International Women's Day was adopted by the Second International Women’s Conference, held in Copenhagen in 1910. The date was chosen to commemorate a huge demonstration of New York women garment workers held on March 8, 1908 to demand the vote and to urge the building of a powerful garment trades' union.
The success of the 1908 demonstration became known internationally among socialist women. Clara Zetkin proposed that March 8 become an International Women’s Day each year dedicated to fighting for equal rights for all women in all countries.
In March, 1911 the Triangle Shirtwaist fire took the lives of 140 working women and children in New York City. That same year women textile workers of Lawrence, Massachusetts went on strike for "Bread and Roses" The cause of working women of all races and nationalities and their struggle for equality remains at the center of International Women's Day.
In 1975 International Women's Day was adopted by the United Nations. The UN is now celebrating the one hundredth anniversary of the first celebration.
The important role women are playing not only in Wisconsin but around the country and the world, and in Connecticut, inspires us and gives us confidence that we can succeed in the struggle for women's rights, workers' rights and a more just and equal world.
Joelle Fishman, Chair, Connecticut CPUSA