I wish you a wonderful International Women's Day today.
I grew up celebrating this day with my family and friends.
According to http://www.internationalwomensday.com/about.asp
IWD is now an official holiday in China, Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother's Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.
While this is accurate, my take on this holiday has been that men celebrated and the women worked preparing the festive foods and cleaning before and after the party. When I told my Mom about what I thought, she added that after dining and drinking with their friends, the men usually chilled in front of the TV and required more attention at bedtime. "It is a lot to ask in return for a bouquet of flowers and a cheap bottle of perfume," my sister added.
Don't take me wrong. This is a holiday worth remembering and celebrating the bravery that the 15,000 women who marched then, in 1908, through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. Those women and the millions of women who followed and have been fighting for human rights all over the world.
In Soviet Union, however, this holiday became a reason to advance itself politically while the real human cause remained behind and is still on the backburner in most countries that celebrate this day openly. So, let's not have the day off on March 8 and give meaningless gifts to the women in our lives. Let's work on March 8th to advance the rights of women and all humans all over the world.