MARCH 8TH:
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
International Women's Day (IWD), originally called
International Working Women's Day,...
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International Womens' Day

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Here is a text telling the origin of International Womens' Day. Most of the information comes from Wikipedia. This can be a starting point for reading comprehension exercises, debates, oral questions in class and the like.
Remember that learning English should not be an end in itself but rather a means to get to other places!!

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International Womens' Day

  1. 1. MARCH 8TH: INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY International Women's Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women's Day, was marked by the United Nations on March 8th in 1975. March 8th is a historic date for two reasons. First of all, on March 8th 1857, a large number of factory workers in the United States took to the streets to demand their economic and political rights. The factory owners called the police who arrived immediately and opened fire, engaging in blind repression… Secondly, in 1908, the same date of March 8th was once again a memorable date of struggle and fight. On this day, capitalist bosses in Chicago set fire to a textile factory where over a thousand women worked. A very large number was terribly burnt and 120 died! This horrible crime happened simply because the workers were demanding that the legal 8-hour work day be respected, as well as substantial improvement of their work conditions. At that time they were working in a terrible environment with little or not dignity at all. In different regions the focus of the celebrations varies from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women's economic, political, and social achievements. Started as a Socialist political event, the holiday mixed in the culture of many countries, primarily Eastern Europe, Russia, and the former Soviet block. Recently in some regions, the day has lost its political meaning, and became simply an occasion for men to express their love for women in a way very similar to a mixture of Mother's Day and Valentine's Day. In other regions, however, the political and human rights theme designated by the United Nations runs strong, and political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide are brought out and examined in a hopeful manner. Remember that this is a day which some people celebrate by wearing purple ribbons.

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