March is Women's History Month and the eighth is globally recognized as International Women's Day. The roots of International Women's Day trace back to a Women's Day Celebration on Feb. 28, 1909, in New York City.
The event was organized by the Socialist Party of America and first suggested by Theresa Malkiel. It is not only considered by many to be the precursor to International Women's Day, but also a key point in the women's movement.
A Russian Immigrant, Malkiel was an activist for women's rights, specifically immigrant women who had joined the workforce.
Her 1909 essay "Where Do We Stand on the Woman Question?" expresses her anger and frustration toward men at the time who would not support working women.
She wrote, "In her anguish the working woman turns towards her brothers in the hope to find a strong support in their midst, but she is doomed to be disillusioned, for they discourage her activity and are utterly listless towards the outcome of her struggle."
Malkiel campaigned for women's suffrage throughout the early 1900's, authoring books, articles, and essays on the subject. She traveled the nation speaking on the rights of women, minorities, and the working class.
This year's theme for International Women's Day is “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights.” The theme recognizes 2020 as a very important year for Women’s rights around the globe.