Above: An early International Women's Day demonstration. Russia, 1917

The Origins of International Women's Day, in Posters

Above: An early International Women's Day demonstration. Russia, 1917

International Women's Day, which is celebrated around the world on March 8, can trace its origins to a labor strike for working women in New York City in 1908. The strike idea spread to Russia, which first coined the name "International Women's Day" in 1913. It became a day of protest and labor strikes, particularly for Communist and Socialist groups. IWD's radical history has been muddled in the contemporary messaging of celebration, but protest posters show what the day has meant for decades globally.

Germany, 1914 Heritage Images/Getty Images Germany, 1914 Translation: Give us Women's Suffrage – Women's Day – March 8, 1914 Soviet Union, 1932 Heritage Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images Soviet Union, 1932 Translation: March 8: A holiday to battle for the working women of the world Germany, 1932 Heritage Images/Getty Images Germany, 1932 Translation: [Come] Out for International Women's Day on March 8 Against the imperialistic war! To the red united front! Vote [for] Ernst Thaelmann!

Thaelmann was the leader of the communist party of Germany before he was arrested by the Gestapo and killed under Hitler's orders.
Soviet Union, 1934 Heritage Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images Soviet Union, 1934 Translation: Long live March 8th! Together with the Party of Lenin, joining its ranks boldly, towards diligent labor, to struggles and to new victories of Socialism. Soviet Union, 1947 Heritage Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images Soviet Union, 1947 Translation: 1947, March 8. Saturday "These kind of women did not exist, nor could they have existed, in older times” - Joseph Stalin Italy, 1969 Fototeca Storica Nazionale./Getty Images Italy, 1969 Translation: A day of struggle for women Italy, 1975 Fototeca Storica Nazionale./Getty Images Italy, 1975 Translation: It's not a celebratory day Women fighting for the alternative