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CAUT Bulletin Archives

February 2005

International Women's Day

International Women's Day is an occasion marked by women's groups around the world. March 8 is also commemorated at the UN and is designated in many countries as a national holiday.

IWD is the story of ordinary women as makers of history; it is rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men. In ancient Greece, Lysistrata initiated a sex strike against men in order to end war; during the French Revolution, Parisian women calling for "liberty, equality, fraternity" marched on Versailles to demand women's suffrage. The idea of IWD first arose at the turn of the last century, which in the industrialized world was a period of expansion and turbulence, booming population growth and radical ideologies. It was formally recognized by the UN in 1977.

Canada will celebrate International Women's Week March 6-12, with the highlight being International Women's Day March 8.