Women's Day holiday Saturday

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Saturday is International Women's Day, a holiday honoring women that's celebrated around the world. The United States, where women don't get a day unless they're moms, has never been firmly on the bandwagon.

International Women's Day kicked off in Europe on March 19, 1911, to drum up support for the suffrage movement and moved to March 8 in 1913. A 1909 attempt to launch a similar holiday in the United States flopped, probably because the Socialist Party of America was behind it.

In 1917, Russian women chose March 8 to protest the deaths of more than 2 million Russian soldiers in World War I. Days later, the czar stepped down and the provisional government granted Russian women the right to vote.

Adopted by the United Nations in 1975, International Women's Day is still a popular day for women's rights protests and marches.

It also has a softer side: gifts, pampering and a day off work in many countries. Here is a brief rundown on what happens on the holiday in some countries:

Russian women insist on red roses, and Italians and Albanians prefer yellow mimosas.

In Russia, International Women's Day is a public holiday. This year, Russians will get Monday, March 10, off. In China, many women (but not men) get a free half-day.

In Romania, single ladies gather for homemade meals. In Russia, progressive husbands do the cooking.

Romanian children use March 8 to honor their moms with trinkets and homemade crafts. In China, women's bosses provide the gifts; movie tickets are common.

India, Uganda, Bangladesh, Fiji, Cambodia and Rwanda are just a few of the nations that use International Women's Day to promote women's rights. Uganda, for instance, has the "Run for Safe Motherhood" marathon, the proceeds of which are donated to hospital maternity wards.


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