(German poster for International Women’s Day, March 8th, 1914; English translation: “Give Us Women’s Suffrage. Women’s Day, March 8, 1914. Until now, prejudice and reactionary attitudes have denied full civic rights to women, who as workers, mothers, and citizens wholly fulfill their duty, who must pay their taxes to the state as well as the municipality. Fighting for this natural human right must be the firm, unwavering intention of every woman, every female worker. In this, no pause for rest, no respite is allowed. Come all, you women and girls, to the 9th public women’s assembly on Sunday, March 8, 1914, at 3pm.”
Women of the Soviet Union first observed International Women’s Day on March 2, 1913. They held a demonstration in St Petersburg demanding the right to vote. On March 8, 1917 women organized another mass demonstration. The demonstration contributes to the start of the Russian Revolution.
In the Soviet Union March 8 became a public holiday that celebrated the liberation of women from the low social status and their struggle for equal rights with men. Such retro style banners with old-fashioned Soviet slogans have become very popular recently though of course they are now considered as art objects.
(South African Women’s Day, offset poster, 1978)