The Women Who Run the World

Every year, International Women’s Day is celebrated across the world. Each celebration highlights the achievements and contributions of women to various fields and brings attention to gender equality and the rights of women everywhere.

However, International Women’s Day did not come out of nowhere. Its worldwide celebration is the result of years of protests and activism. Here are the women who made International Women’s Day.


Photo credit: GenderAvenger

  1. Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott
    In 1848, these women congregated hundreds of people for the first women’s rights convention in New York. This was after a woman was banned from speaking at an antislavery convention. They created a Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions which called for the civil, political, social, and religious rights of women.


Photo credit: Immigration to the United States/Wikipedia

  1. The International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU) and the Women’s Trade Union League (WTUL)
    These became two of the largest unions that fought for the rights of women workers. Aside from raising concerns about labor conditions, the valuation of women’s work, and women’s working salaries, both unions started the strike that would inspire National Women’s Day. In 1909, a strike known as the Uprising lasted for 14 weeks and was held and attended by 20,000 women from New York who made shirtwaists.


Photo credit: Wikipedia

  1. Clara Zetkin
    Zetkin was the leader of the Women’s Office for the Social Democratic Party in Germany. In 1910, she forwarded the idea of Women’s Day at the Second International Conference of Working Women. She proposed that every year, the day could be dedicated to pressing for the rights of women in their respective countries. The suggestion was voted for unanimously.

  1. Nathalie Lemel, Louise Michel, Elisabeth Dmitrieff, André Léo, Anne Jaclard, and Paule Mink
    In 1871, the Paris Commune was a revolution that ruled in the city for 10 days and led to the creation of the Third Republic. Lemel, Michel, Dmitrieff, Jaclard, and Mink of the Union of Women for the Defense of Paris and Aid to the Wounded fought for working women’s rights during the revolution. They also established the Union des Femmes, which organized the working women of Paris to contribute to the revolution. The commune ended on March 19, which is also one of the first dates celebrated as women’s day in Europe.

  1. Women Activists of Russia
    Russia celebrated its first Women’s Day in 1913 as part of protesting against World War I. Aside from this, women activists also fought for equal rights and women’s right to vote. Today, Women’s Day in Russia is celebrated differently, like a combination of Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day.

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Photo credit: Wikipedia

  1. Women at the Hague
    The Women at the Hague was held in April 1915 in the Netherlands. The conference had over 1,100 delegates and established the International Committee of Women for Permanent Peace (ICWPP) and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).

  1. Jacinda Ardern, Tsai Ing-Wen, Angela Merkel, and the Women Leaders of the World
    With this year’s International Women’s Day celebrating leadership by women, it’s important to shine a light on the women who have led their countries through this pandemic. The likes of Ardern, Ing-Wen, and Merkel have shown the world just how powerful women leaders can be.


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