International Women's Day 2011


“100 Years Later, The Roll of the Dead in a Factory Fire Is Complete”. This was the headline in the New York Times a couple of weeks ago in which it was reported that a diligent researcher had finally identified the last of the “unknown victims” in the fire at the Triangle Shirt Waist Factory in Manhattan on 25 March 1911.

146 workers, many of them women and girls, recent immigrants from Italy and Eastern Europe, lost their lives in that fire due to the lack of minimum safety measures. It was a massacre, more than a tragedy, as those poor women and men died because the owner had locked all the doors, trapping the workers inside the factory.

One week before the fire, on 19 March 1911 the first International Women's Day was celebrated by over one million women in Europe, demanding political rights and the right to work. The demonstrations took place in Germany, Austria, Denmark, Switzerland (countries from which most of the 58 delegates to the 2nd Congress of the Socialist International Women came from). On Clara Zetkin’s proposal, the Congress had decided that women all over the world should rally and demonstrate for one day in the month of March, in favour of their rights and political emancipation.

These two events, that of the demonstrations in the “Old World” and that of the fire in the “New World” have thus become indelibly linked by a tragic intersection of ideas and events. It is right to keep the link between these two events which marked the history of women’s emancipation and legislation, the first with an initiative of protest and demand, the second for the ensuing scandal which finally led to the passage of new workplace safety laws, pro-worker policies, and labour laws.

Celebrating International Women’s Day helps to keep the memory of a past event which happened one hundred years ago and that of entering a struggle for work and political rights, that in turn have allowed following generations of women and men to have a better quality of life.

The 8 March should be a day for us to remember and to give new impetus to women’s rights, emancipation and feminism.




Coucil Meeting

Geneva, Switzerland, 28 and 29 June 2018

For a World 50-50 in 2030 – The Great Challenges

Socialist International Women denounces brutal attacks on Palestinian demonstrators

17 May 2018

The Socialist International Women strongly denounces the use of lethal fire by Israeli military forces against Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza on Sunday 14 May 2018...

Connecting Rural Women – E-Development and Rural Women's Empowerment

16 March 2018

62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), United Nations, New York, from 12 to 23 March 2018

Side Event hosted by the Permanent Mission of Mongolia to the UN; the Mongolian People’s Party; Socialist International Women(SIW) and PES Women

Empowering Rural Women: Granting Universal Rights to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services

15 March 2018

62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), United Nations, New York, from 12 to 23 March 2018

Parallel Event hosted by the Socialist International Women (SIW), PES Women and Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS)

International Women's Day Declaration

08 March 2018

In solidarity and recognition of the immense societal, economic and political achievements of women and girls worldwide Socialist International Women is proud to support International Women’s Day (IWD) 2018...

Statement on Unilateral Decision by the United States of America to Recognise Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel

07 December 2017

The Socialist International Women (SIW) disapproves the decision of President Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate the US embassy there from Tel Aviv...

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

25 November 2017

Socialist International Women affirms its support for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women as an opportunity to focus on the continuing suffering and oppression of women and girls worldwide, and the vital roles that governments and individuals have in creating positive change...

Council Meeting

Barcelona, Spain, 21 and 22 November 2017

Democracy in Crisis, Populism on the Rise - Where do Women's Rights fit in?

Council Meeting

United Nations, New York, 14 July 2017

Rural Areas, Media and ICT - New Challenges and More Opportunities for Women’s Empowerment

In Memory of Carmen Chacón

13 March 1971 - 09 April 2017

The Socialist International Women was deeply saddened to receive the news of the death of Carmen Chacón on 09 April 2017 at the age of 46 years...

Council Meeting and XXI Congress

25 - 27 February 2017

Gender Inequality in the World Today – Understanding the New Challenges and Ending Gender Inequality by 2030

UN Climate Change Conference 2016

Conference of the Parties (COP22), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Marrakech, Morroco, 07 to 18 November 2016

Parallel event hosted by the Socialist International Women (SIW), the Forum of the African Women Post 2015 and Jossour Forum of the Moroccan Women, Bab Ighli Site, Green Zone, 14 November 2016

Former SI President António Guterres to become next UN Secretary General

06 October 2016

The Socialist International Women (SIW) would like to congratulate António Guterres on being chosen as the next Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Council Meeting

28 and 29 June 2016

The UN Sustainable Development Goals – Gender Sensitive Budgeting and Climate Change


The First Hundred Years

A Short History of Socialist International Women

By Irmtraut Karlsson

This book tells the history of the first one hundred years of the Socialist International Women