Last week marked the annual observance of International Women's Day and the city of Burlington celebrated March 12th with a gathering at the Kings Street Center sponsored by the Burlington College Institute for Civic Engagement, the Caroline Fund, The Laura Kate Winterbottom Memorial Fund, the Zonta Club of Burlington, Hope Works, the City of Burlington, and the Peace and Justice Center.
First observed in the United States in 1909, Women's Day arose during the labor struggles of the early 20th century. The first designated National Women's day was put forth by the Socialist Party of America in honor of a strike of women New York garment workers against their working conditions.
By 1911, International Women's Day was officially marked in northern europe, where more than one million men and women rallied in support of a woman's right to vote, hold public office, obtain vocational training and called for an end to discrimination on the job. At the breakout of World War I, women in Europe and Russia used International Women's day to protest the war and join in solidarity with other activists across the continent.
However it was not until 1975 - after six decades of struggles and triumphs that Women's Day was celebrated by the
, launching official recognition of the rights of women and the struggle for gender equality across the globe.