In fact, this date was not chosen immediately.
It is widely accepted that the holiday emerged after the women’s protest in New York City on February 28, 1908. Back then, tens of thousands of women took part in the march and demanded equal labour and remuneration conditions, as well as the right to vote and to stand for election. After that, the United States started celebrating the National Women’s Day on the last Sunday of February. So it was until 1913.
In the meantime, this day was celebrated in Europe in different ways until 1913 depending on the country: on March 19, May 12, March 2, March 9, March 12. In 1910, the activist of the German and International Labour Movement, Clara Zetkin, proposed to declare the International Women’s Day in Copenhagen during the second International Socialist Women’s Conference. Women were supposed to draw public attention to their problems by holding protests, marches and other thematic events on this day.
It was only in 1914 that the 8th of March was celebrated in eight countries at once: Austria, United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Russia, the United States, Switzerland.
On February 23, 1917 (or March 8, according to the new style calendar), the female workers of two enterprises stopped operations and took to the streets of Petersburg to protest. Other people joined them. Participants of the protest demanded equality, bread and increased daily allowance for soldiers’ wives.
In commemoration of this event, in 1921 participants of the second Communist Women’s Conference decided to celebrate March 8th every year as the International Women’s Day.