Today, on March 8, the entire world celebrates International Women's Day. On this day we celebrate women's achievements regardless of national borders or ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences.
March 8 is the international day of women's solidarity in the fight for economic, political and social equality. It was created in the early 1900s, it was a day of recognition for those ladies who started to vocally demand their equality with men. In the beginning the day varied, but now it has been set as March 8, Sputnik writes. The holiday is also observed by the United Nations as the International Day for Women's Rights and International Peace.
In 1913 Russian women observed their first International Women's Day on the last Saturday in February (by Julian calendar then used in Russia). In 1917 demonstrations marking International Women's Day in Petrograd, Russia, on the last Thursday in February (which fell on March 8 on the Gregorian calendar) initiated the February Revolution. Women in Saint Petersburg went on strike that day for "Bread and Peace" – demanding the end of World War I, an end to Russian food shortages, and the end of czarism.
Following the October Revolution it was made an official holiday in the Soviet Union, but it was a working day until 1965. On May 8, 1965 by the decree of the USSR Presidium of the Supreme Soviet International Women's Day was declared a non-working day in the USSR "in commemoration of the outstanding merits of Soviet women in communistic construction, in the defense of their Fatherland during the Great Patriotic War, in their heroism and selflessness at the front and in the rear, and also marking the great contribution of women to strengthening friendship between peoples, and the struggle for peace. But still, women's day must be celebrated as are other holidays."
Russian President Vladimir Putin wished the country's mothers, daughters, wives and female colleagues a happy International Women's Day, noting that the fairer sex brings beauty, brightness and hope into the world. According to Putin, in Russia this holiday is celebrated with special warmth.
"Dear women, I sincerely commend you on this International Women's Day, which is marked with special warmth in Russia, perhaps more than anywhere else in the world. It is filled with gifts and flowers, as well as the kindest feelings towards our mothers, wives, daughters and colleagues – women who all are close to our hearts," Sputnik quoted him as saying.
Putin heaped praise on the character traits of Russian women, which he said reflect Russia's soul. "Women give us life; they warm us with their love, support and care. It is a woman's dignity and mercy which reveal the true [nature of the] Russian soul," he pointed out.
He expressed special gratitude to Russia's surviving female World War II veterans who helped men prevail over the enemy. "I would like to specifically extend gratitude to the women of the war generation. Your fortitude, your feat taught us to become real men and win against all odds," Putin said.
He also pointed to a whole array of positive moments that Russian women have brought to the world. "You, our dear women, possess a unfathomable secret: you do everything on time and cope with a huge load of worries while looking tender, charming and amazing. You bring goodness, beauty, brightness and hopefulness to the world. We are proud of you and we love you," Putin concluded, wishing the women "plenty of happy days and years."
In an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza, vice-president of the Russian Council on Foreign Affairs, ex-president of North Ossetia, Alexander Dzasokhov, stressed that today, the role of women in country's life and in the public sphere is constantly growing. "It's great that our women learn the most significant and necessary for young people and families specialties: they are teachers, doctors, educators. I especially want to note their role in those difficult years, when I and my generation worked in the Caucasus. They have always played an important role there," he said.
Member of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs Igor Morozov also said that women have a key position in social and political life of Russia. "We see so many active women, whom men treate with great respect. I think that the first among them is Federation Council Chairman Valentina Ivanovna Matvienko - Russia's most popular woman politician and one of the most active politicians in the international arena," he noted.
According to famous director and actor, Yuli Gusman, the fact that women's role in public and political life is growing is a worldwide trend. "In the 21st century, strict patriarchy is being replaced. If not by matriarchy, then by an active and wide involvement of women in business, politics, social life of countries and continents," he pointed out.