International Women's Day is celebrated around the world as a way to remember the past achievements of women and look toward the next step towards gender equality. Often there are marches and luncheons to commemorate the day. Despite using the day to commemorate the historic achievements of women, the actual history of the day is often forgotten. It was born from the actions of women workers who were fighting not only for their rights but also for their safety in the workplace.
It's generally agreed that International Women's Day grew from labor movements of the late 1800s and early 1900s. In particular, garment workers were fighting for reduced hours and safer working conditions. On March 8, 1857, protesters were attacked by police, and the first women's labor union grew from this movement. A similar protest was held on March 8, 1908, and helped inspire America's National Women's Day in February 1909.
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