„Bread and Piece” – the revolution that changed a world

Mar 21, 2022

„The 8th of March” is a day worldwide acknowledged to be International Women’s Day. This means 24 hours for the female population to reveal the success of achieving equality from a political standpoint, freedom, and rights that should have been theirs from the first moment society was brought into existence. Today, countries all over the globe celebrate this significant step in humanity’s evolution by either coming together in joyous festivities or simply gifting flowers to our beloved women. By now, it is a common fact that the 8th of March is International Women’s Day, but very few of us actually know the history hidden behind those words.

Here is another fact: women have been fighting for their freedom long before the peace between continents was even considered a viable option. In the US the first movement goes as back as 1848 – the censure women faced regarding their negative opinions on slavery determined a small convention to gather in New York. They asked for something as basic as civil, social, and political rights. Even though nothing of worth was achieved by this act of defiance in the face of the men-controlled society, an idea slowly blossomed in the hearts of young and elderly women alike – an idea that would soon bloom into a new beginning. On the 28th of February 1909, the first National Women’s Day took place in the US, after protests against the poor working conditions female employees were subjected to.

Europe was a bit late joining this train – the first celebrations in the name of women took place for the first time in 1911, in commemoration of previous revolutions that once again petitioned voting rights, equality, and the ending of discrimination in workplaces. By 1913, war was brewing in Europe, and as a result, women become more vocal about the negative aspects of such violence. Nevertheless, we all know that their voices were ignored, and what followed was an endless stream of bloodshed and destruction.

During War World 1, many women were recruited to fill in the absence of male workers that were forced to join the military. Despite the initial resistance against the idea of them taking control of the majority of the industrial jobs, the desperate need to cover the gaps left behind by the brand-new soldiers determined the acceptance of more female employees. Although women were the countries’ saving graces, their payment still was not high enough to feed an individual, let alone multiple members of a single-family. Their displeasure soon led to numerous purposes of equality and a small victory was finally achieved. The War Cabinet concluded that every woman hired in the place of a man serving in the army would be paid as much as he would have been, but there was still a condition – that arrangement would only last until the end of the war.

Then, in 1917, women reached their limit. The female population from Russia protested under the name of „Bread and Peace”, derived from the shortages of bread in the country and the abandoned families of the ones protecting their peace. The revolution sparked the need for change in the hearts of all people, and a series of political events would eventually lead to the 23rd of February being named „Women’s Day”, as that Friday was the first link in the chain of movements that would grant women the right to vote.

Wondering why International Women’s Day changed its date from February to March? Well, the answer to this is actually pretty simple. It did not. Back in 1917, Russia had not yet adopted the Gregorian calendar. Thus, the 23rd of February corresponded to the 8th of March from the present.

Now there you have it – the history behind International Women’s Day. All that is left for us to do is respect the sacrifices our predecessors have suffered and continue the fight against the biased system that still controls several divisions of our society until we win the final battle in this silent war – equality in every aspect.


Article written by Sîrbu Ana.

Edited by Botescu Ioana.

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