International Womens Day came into being as women fought for their rights: rights to vote, to have fair working conditions, to be equal, to have self-determination. In New York in 1909, 15,000 women took to the streets to demand shorter hours, better pay, and voting rights.
In 1910, Clara Zetkin, the leader of the Women’s Office for the Social Democratic Party in Germany tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day at the second International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen.
In 1911 in NY 146 young women died in a fire in less than 20 minutes at the Triangle Waist Company because they were trapped inside the workshop and could not escape. That tragedy galvanized workers around the world and helped to further unite the women’s equality movement to the struggle for workers’ rights. By 1913, socialist organizations and labor unions in various countries began to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, the Smithsonian Magazine reports.
On the eve of World War I, 27 July 1914, campaigning for peace, Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day on February 23, the last Sunday in February. On the last Sunday of February, Russian women began a strike for ‘Bread and Peace’ in response to the death of over 2 million Russian soldiers in World War 1. Opposed by political leaders, the women continued to strike until four days later the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote.
International Women’s Day was marked for a first time by the United Nations in 1975.’
Lismore Women’s Festival events
It was women gathering, talking, taking action and making choices that would see them all benefit in the long run that made change. Launching today, the Lismore Women’s Festival is running events over four days across a number of venues throughout Lismore and surrounds.
Hosted for 2023 by Northern Rivers Women and Children’s Services Inc. (NORWACS) the ‘Lismore Women’s Festival is an inclusive event celebrating International Women’s Day and specifically women of Lismore,’ said a spokesperson for the festival.
‘Over four days women can join in to share experiences, learn new ways to reenergise and take time to discover new ways to enrich their lives. The festival is a welcome return after last year’s cancellation due to the floods.’
NORWACS are welcoming and hosting all to morning tea and a series of 15-minute taster sessions from 10am to 1pm at their premises at 60 Uralba Street, Lismore. The sessions include presentations from the team at Heartfelt House, a program for women survivors of childhood sexual abuse, Sleep –- Are you Getting Enough? and Mindful Self Compassion.
‘We are delighted to host Lismore Women’s Festival 2023, it’s so important to recognise and celebrate women’s contributions to our community,’ said Kelly Banister, NORWACS CEO.
‘The festival also provides the opportunity for women to pause, restore and connect with other women and themselves after what has been a highly traumatic time for our region.’
Throughout the festival there are a range of events to celebrate women and give time to nurture and restore balance. The therapeutic benefits of the arts feature strongly in both visual arts, collage and mandala sessions and performance arts, instrumental band sessions and celebration of songs and movement.
Health and wellbeing are essential parts of the festival and there are a range of workshops, many free or by donation, for yoga, reiki and sound healing. Included in the program is an information presentation on breastfeeding while working, studying or volunteering, providing a safe space for breastfeeding mums to have all their questions answered.
Booking is recommended for sessions and full program details can be found on: https://www.facebook.com/lismorewomensfestival.