International Women’s Day: Who was Clara Zetkin?

clara zetkin

Clara Zetkin was a female politician active in the Social Democratic Party of Germany and is credited with founding International Women’s Day.

She believed in Marxism and was an advocate for women’s rights as well as being a peace activist.

In 1910, an International Women’s Conference was organised in Copenhagen. Alongside, Luise Zietz, a prominent of female politician, Zetkin called for the creation of an annual International Women’s Day. Conference delegates agreed with the idea to promote equal rights including suffrage for women.

In 1919, Zetkin joined the newly founded KPD (Communist Party) and represented the party from 1920 to 1933 in the Reichstag.

During the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis Party, Zetkin went into exile in the Soviet Union. She died here in 1933 at the age of 75.

After her death, Zetkin became a much-celebrated heroine in the former East Germany. Every major city had a street named after her, and her picture appeared on bank notes and stamps.

The legacy of International Women’s Day, and Zetkin’s contribution to it, is still recognised, and celebrated to this day.

Each year International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8, with the first day being held in 1911. Thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organisations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women’s groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day.

 

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