Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Poster of the Week

International Women's Day
Gail Dolgin
Jane Norling
Photo: Tim Drescher
Offset, 1978

San Francisco, California

On March 8, l857, women from the garment and textile industry in New York demonstrated to protest low wages, the 12 hour workday, and increasing workloads. They asked for improved working conditions and equal pay for all working women. Their march was dispersed by the police. Some of the women were arrested and some were injured. Three years later, in March of 1860, these women formed their own union and again called for these demands to be met.

On March 8, 1908, thousands of women from the needles trade industry demonstrated for the same demands. They also asked for laws against child labor and for the right of women to vote. They declared March 8 to be Women's Day.

In 1910, Clara Zetkin, a German labor leader, proposed that March 8 be proclaimed International Women's Day in memory of those women who had fought for better lives. For almost 100 years, March 8 has been celebrated in many countries, but has only been commemorated widely in the United States since 1970 with the development of the Women's Liberation Movement.

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