Today is a very special day celebrated all around the world on 8 March: International Women’s Day.
The origins of International Women’s Day
Not everyone knows the origins of this day: the legend about the alleged fire in a textile factory in New York on 8 March 1908 is widespread, but there isn’t any evidence to support it, at least not on that day; in fact, it seems there was a similar fire on 25 March 1911, where more than 140 people, among them many women, died. This event became a symbol of the struggle for the rights of women workers, but it wasn’t among the reasons for which it was decided to institute International Women’s Day. It is interesting that in the past each Country celebrated women on a different date: in 1921 on the occasion of the Second Communist Women Conference, 8 March was chosen as an official date, to remember the first women workers’ rally against tsarism, which took place on 8 March 1917 in Petersburg.
In Italy it is a tradition to give as a gift a bunch of mimosa flowers on this day; the connection between women and the mimosa is interesting, let’s find out more about it together! This choice was mainly made by Teresa Mattei (1921-2013), an Italian parliamentarian who, since she was very young, focused on the struggle for women’s emancipation and children’s safety. Initially, they thought they would associate violets to women, but it was very expensive. Mattei, together with Rita Montagna and Teresa Noce, decided to go for the mimosa. Later, she explained this choice with the following statement: ”The mimosa was the flower that partisans used to give to the dispatch riders. It reminded me of the fights on the mountains, it could be freely picked in bunches”.
Unfortunately, still today many women find themselves victims of various types of injustices all around the world. That’s why it is crucial to celebrate this day to remember how important women are and to fight against gender discrimination.
Happy International Women’s Day to everyone!
— Written and translated by Margherita Paolinelli
https://www.ilpost.it/2021/03/08/perche-si-celebra-oggi-la-giornata-internazionale-della-donna/ (last access on 04/03/2022)
https://www.corriere.it/tecnologia/domande-google/notizie/giornata-internazionale-donna-perche-si-celebra-l-8-marzo-ricorrenza-storia-leggenda-dac32fe0-7e6d-11eb-a1f6-6ee7bf0dab9f.shtml (last access on 04/03/2022)