Heute ist Weltfrauentag.
Although it’s called International Women’s Day, it’s a day for the rights of women.
Next week, we’ll be discussing important women in German history, but today, I’ve together this entry about a very important feminist, Clara Zetkin, who we will also discuss next week in our meeting.
Zetkin was a socialist and women’s rights activist, who fought for women’s right to vote and unionise.
She was born on 5 July 1857 in Wiederau, about 25 km from Chemnitz, at that point still in the Kingdom of Saxony.
She was a member of the SPD, USPD, and KPD throughout her life in Germany – and she was very active in each of these parties.
She sought to help establish full equality between women and men – as well as full equality between the classes.
After the rise of the Nazi party, she moved to the USSR, where she lived out the last years of her life active in the political sphere.
After her death, she was honored in a number of socialist countries, including, after 1949, the GDR, which set up a number of museums and parks in her honor.
Her ashes were interned at the Kremlin Wall Necropolis, one of the highest honors in the Soviet Union.
Collected here are a few of her writings.
Zetkin wrote “Zur Frage des Frauenwahlrechts” in 1907, and today it is available to read here.
She was an editor of Die Gleichheit, which, in 1911 called for a day of women’s rights.
Zetkin wrote extensively about women’s rights, and, until women’s suffrage was granted in January 1919, did everything within her power to ensure women’s suffrage.
She was a socialist who urged for the unionisation of women – and of their fair pay and treatment. Zetkin is often regarded as one of the most influential feminists of all time.
Clara Zetkin died in Arkhangel’skoye, oblast’ Moscow (in the USSR) on 20 June 1933. She remained until her death a staunch defender of women and workers’ rights.
Clara Zetkin on geboren.am (in German)