International Women's Day 2011


“100 Years Later, The Roll of the Dead in a Factory Fire Is Complete”. This was the headline in the New York Times a couple of weeks ago in which it was reported that a diligent researcher had finally identified the last of the “unknown victims” in the fire at the Triangle Shirt Waist Factory in Manhattan on 25 March 1911.

146 workers, many of them women and girls, recent immigrants from Italy and Eastern Europe, lost their lives in that fire due to the lack of minimum safety measures. It was a massacre, more than a tragedy, as those poor women and men died because the owner had locked all the doors, trapping the workers inside the factory.

One week before the fire, on 19 March 1911 the first International Women's Day was celebrated by over one million women in Europe, demanding political rights and the right to work. The demonstrations took place in Germany, Austria, Denmark, Switzerland (countries from which most of the 58 delegates to the 2nd Congress of the Socialist International Women came from). On Clara Zetkin’s proposal, the Congress had decided that women all over the world should rally and demonstrate for one day in the month of March, in favour of their rights and political emancipation.

These two events, that of the demonstrations in the “Old World” and that of the fire in the “New World” have thus become indelibly linked by a tragic intersection of ideas and events. It is right to keep the link between these two events which marked the history of women’s emancipation and legislation, the first with an initiative of protest and demand, the second for the ensuing scandal which finally led to the passage of new workplace safety laws, pro-worker policies, and labour laws.

Celebrating International Women’s Day helps to keep the memory of a past event which happened one hundred years ago and that of entering a struggle for work and political rights, that in turn have allowed following generations of women and men to have a better quality of life.

The 8 March should be a day for us to remember and to give new impetus to women’s rights, emancipation and feminism.




A Good Education is the Best Guarantee for a Good Life

Article by Tuula Peltonen, published in the Brussels Morning Online Newspaper on 09 September 2021

In Finland, schools are just beginning their autumn term. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, schools will reopen as normal and thousands of teachers will return to teaching...

Situation of Women and Women’s Rights in Afghanistan

26 August 2021

Following the fall of Afghanistan into the control of Taliban forces, the Socialist International Women stands in firm solidarity with the international community both in condemnation of all forms of violence and oppression in Afghanistan and in firm support of innocent civilians caught up in this distressing situation...

Role of Women in Sustainable Peace for Inclusive Development and Economic Security

Article by Shazia Marri, published in the Brussels Morning Online Newspaper on 30 July 2021

Throughout history, women have played a pivotal role in shaping the future. Whether it is the freedom struggles in Asia and Africa or the economic uplift of Europe after the Second World War, women have proved — time and again — their resilience in the face of danger and difficulty alike...

Debt Cancellation: A burden lifted from women

Article by Chantal Kambiwa, published in Brussels Morning Online Newspaper on 17 June 2021

Over the years, acknowledgement of the rights of women and girls has become increasingly central to development strategies across the world and in Africa more particularly. Does this represent a recognition of the value of women and girls and a desire to see them flourish?...

We must defend progress in gender equality after the COVID-19 pandemic

Article by Ouafa Hajji, published in Brussels Morning Online Newspaper on 24 May 2021

Women and girls paid a disproportionate price of the economic shutdown during the pandemic, particularly in developing economies — our policies need to prevent this becoming the new norm, argues Ouafa Haji...

Our Support to Sandra Torres

30 April 2021

Socialist International Women, SIW, would like to show its support to Sandra Torres, leader of the Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza (UNE) of Guatemala and one of the SI Vice-Presidents...

SIW Council Meeting

30 April 2021

How to reinvent our future after Covid-19

Women are each other’s homeland

Article by Hilal Dokuzcan, published in Brussels Morning Online Newspaper on 30 March 2021

As Turkey withdraws from the Istanbul convention – to which an AKP government acceded in 2011 – a Turkish politician reflects on the prosecution of women, everywhere. There is no homeland for women, she notes, other than other women...

Statement on Turkey's Withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention

22 March 2021

The Socialist International Women are very sorry to receive the news of Turkey’s decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention determined by the President's decree on March 20, 2021...

Effective Participation and Decision-Making in Public Life - Key to Achieving Gender Equality

16 March 2021

65th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), United Nations, New York, from 15 to 26 March 2021

Virtual Parallel Event hosted by the Socialist International Women (SIW)

International Women's Day Declaration

08 March 2021

Socialist International Women (SIW) warmly applauds this year’s International Women’s Day theme of “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.”...

Season's Greeting!

December 2020

Wishing peace and equality for 2021

SIW Executive Meeting

18 December 2020

COVID-19 and the Impact this is Having on Women and Gender Equality in the Different Regions

Declaration on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

25 November 2020

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is a powerful call to stand in solidarity with all women and girls worldwide...

Message of Support for Turkey and Greece Following 30th October Earthquake

October 2020

The Socialist International Women offers its sincere condolences to Turkey and Greece following the devastating earthquake under the Aegean Sea on 30th October 2020...

Message of Solidarity with all Women and Girls Worldwide during the COVID-19 Pandemic

October 2020

The Socialist International Women stands in firm solidarity with all women and girls worldwide during this deeply painful, devastating period of the COVID-19 pandemic...


The First Hundred Years

A Short History of Socialist International Women

By Irmtraut Karlsson

This book tells the history of the first one hundred years of the Socialist International Women