Today is the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day. A historical reconstruction of Sonila Alushi.
It all really started in the 1908 with the New York shirt strike. More women participated than 20.000 in New York and lasted for more than three months.
This strike was considered a demonstration that combined trade union claims with policies for the recognition of women's voting rights. In the 1910, during the Congress of the Socialist International in Copenhagen, Clara Zetkin, a prestigious figure of the German Socialist Party, accepted the project of the American delegation to remember this long strike and proposed to launch a single large international day focused on the vote for women . The proposal did not pass and we had to wait for the following year, the 1911, to see the "dress rehearsal" of Women's Day take place.
In some European countries (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) the Women's Day was held for the first time the 19 March 1911 by choice of the socialist women, instead in France a day earlier, the 18 March 1911. In Russia the 3 March 1913 was held for the first time in St. Petersburg on the initiative of the Bolshevik Party. In Italy the International Women's Day was held for the first time only in the 1922, on the initiative of the Communist Party of Italy, which the 12 March wished to celebrate, as the first Sunday following the 8 March.
In the post-war period, perhaps also due to the strongly political connotation of Women's Day, the thesis spread that the women's day was chosen in memory of the hundreds of workers who died because of the fire in a factory called Cotton or Cottons in New York. 1908.
The owners would have sealed the doors to prevent the workers from leaving their jobs. Regarding this affair, several researches have been carried out and the factory has been non-existent. It was probably confused with a tragedy that actually occurred in the American metropolis 25 in March 1911. This is the fire of the Triangle Waist Company factory, in which 146 workers died, mostly young immigrant women from Europe.
In a beautiful article of the 2004, entitled "That oversight on 8 March" , Gian Antonio Stella talks about many other tragedies that took place in those years in New York and how there is not an episode in the history of women better suited to mark a turning point than the catastrophe at the Triangle Waist Company.
Stella writes: "The five hundred girls of the 15 and the 25 years who worked with a hundred men and rare older colleagues, in the last three floors of the building, employed by Isaac Harris and Max Blanck, were in fact infamous lives. Sixty hours of work a week (the year before, a major strike lasted for months had tore up an 52 hours, but it was not applied there), underpaid overtime, reduced spaces, fierce surveillance.
As happens with certain abnormal contracts of today (in the series: no one ever invents anything) the bosses had in fact entrusted everything, with a kind of internal subcontract, to a network of corporals, each of whom managed and paid seven workers, who was marching at rhythm very high. Chain work incidents. Zero trade union safeguards. Doors locked from the outside for the girls not to stray. The right place for the last of the last: Italian Jews and immigrants ".
We're back to celebrate Our Day's sisters, mothers, friends, girls, women.
But between the parties on the premises, the beautiful and fragrant mimosas given and the wishes made and received, carve out a little time to remember the many sacrifices, the struggles of women and the many victims of the cruel injustices that we have suffered and we continue to suffer especially in some countries where women are still discriminated against and harshly treated.
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