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In 1917 demonstrations marking International Women's Day in Saint Petersburg on the last Sunday in February (March 8 on the Gregorian calendar) initiated the February Revolution which involved mass demonstrations and clashes with police and gendarmes. Women were extremely significant in this revolution, gathering in a mass protest to call for political rights, including the right to vote, to serve as attorneys, equal rights in civil service, and for putting an end to the war, chanting "Bread and Peace" in response to the death of over 2 million Russian soldiers.

Nine years earlier, in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. The first National Women's Day was observed on 28 February 1909, in the United States following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America.

More than 100 years later, women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women's education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men. Something to keep in mind while celebrating International Women's Day.