Sunday is March 8th, International Women's Day. Here in Kyrgyzstan it is like a super sized version of Valentine's Day and Mother's Day combined. But, its recent commercialization should not obscure its labor and socialist roots. It was originally intended as a day to promote better pay and conditions for women working in industry. The first Women's Day was officially celebrated in the US on 23 February 1909. It made it to Europe in 1911 when it was first observed on March 8th. Promoted heavily by the German socialist, Clara Zetkin, it became an official Soviet holiday in 1922.
Temma Kaplan, "On the Socialist Origins of International Women's Day," Feminist Studies, Vol. 11, No. 1 (Spring 1985), pp. 163-171.