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Clare Hudd, Freelance Writer

or the social freedom that women have today, we owe much to the founder of International Women’s Day.

Clara Zetkins
Clara Zetkins was a pioneer for women’s rights in society and the workforce. She was a woman of inspiration and foresight. She believed in establishing new ways for women, creating a new path and opening opportunities. Through her career in teaching she connected with women’s movements and rights until 1917.

She refused to allow the male ego to crush the woman’s spirit. She believed in her passion and stayed true to her core values.

1909 saw the first National Women’s Day in the United States on the 28th February. National Women’s day was celebrated on the last day of February until 1913. It was 1910 that Clara put forward the idea of International Women’s Day and for it to be held every year. Women from clubs to unions to socialist parties all believed in her suggestion resulting in a unanimous decision to make International Women’s Day official.

Russian women campaigned for peace on the eve of World War 1 and saw their first IWD on the last Sunday in February 1913. Discussions were then held and International Women’s Day was moved to the 8th March globally and has remained the same to this day.

Clara and Rosa

Clara’s lifetime spans a biography of womens rights. She lived a full and active life in womens movement. Up to 1874 she’d joined the Social Workers Party, which has, since 1875, been known as the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD).

1878 saw a ban on socialist activity in Germany, resulting in Clara fleeing to Zurich in 1882 and resulting in her exile into Paris. Whilst in Paris, she founded the socialist International Socialist Group.

During 1911 Clara Zetkin and Rosa Luxemburg joined forces to attack the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and in 1915 she supported the organization of the International Women’s Peace Conference in Switzerland. She also joined the Independent Socialist Party in 1917.

In January 1919, the Social Democrat party leader, Freidrich Ebert and Germany’s new chancellor brought an end to Spartakusbund (Spartacus League), an underground organization Clara co-created in 1914 with Karl Liebknecht, Rosa Luxemburg, Paul Levi, Ernest Meyer, Leo Jogiches and Franz Mehring. It did not take long for the movement to be crushed and Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht and Leo Jogiches to be captured and executed.

Clara then moved on to form the German Communist Party (KPD) in 1920. During that year she served on the Central Committee. She remained a representative until 1933.

1925 saw her elected as president of the German left-wing Solidarity Organisation Rote Hilfe (Red Aid) and in 1932 she encouraged peoples fight for national socialism.

Clara went into exile in the Soviet Union in 1933, following Adolf Hitler taking power and banning the Communist Party of Germany.

Clara Zetkin was a miraculous woman who fought most of her life to give women today equality. She died in 1933 at the age of 75 in Archangelakoye, Russia.

She brought about a day that is celebrated in many countries, some marking this event as an official public holiday.

On International Women’s Day let us remember those who launched women into society as being equal, and those who lost their lives to fight for the cause to give women and opportunity, a voice and a right to better themselves and support other in doing so.

On a day that sparks such signifigance to the world around us, it has formed a unity and has come a long way since its creation. We now see women in uniform defending our people, our communities and our nation; women in executive positions leading the way for change and growth, and heralding positions of national leaders.

There has been a shift for women, we all feel it. We are considered equal and those who remain unnoticed continue to fight for it. Those who still remain under the male ego, in afar countries, witness this change. Some are starting to rise from the ashes making a new path for their fellow women and daughters to travel and follow.

On the 8th March every year women gather – corporations, organizations, groups, women’s movements and many more come together to celebrate womens achievements today, to continue the inspiration and support for women in all corners of the globe and all cultures.

Currently 21 countries are involved in the celebrations of International Women’s Day, with 219 events planned and those numbers surely to rise before the 8th of March 09. International Women’s Day spreads it support to many womens organizations, charities and international womens groups.

It is an international recognition that women are equal to achieve as much success as men.

I say, do not falter, we were all born with spirit and we all have the right to let it soar.

I have written this article to bring forth and enlighten you all as to who we owe our gratitude and thanks to. I believe we can revel in the fact that we have always had strong women, however, we owe a special appreciation to the ones who have had the courage to stand up and speak despite the dire consequences.

I’m sure Clara Zetkin would be very proud of the women today who have continued her legacy of giving us FREEDOM!!!


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International Women's Day
IWD is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.


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