To be a woman in the modern age is not an easy feat. The lives that 50% of the world’s population now lead, are largely due to the activism and accomplishments of those before them. On March 8th the world will celebrate the achievements of women in social, economic and political spheres in what is known as International Women’s Day or Festa delle Donne in Italian.
The day began in remembrance of a strike that occurred on the same day in the year 1908, where 15,000 female garment workers in New York, protested poor working conditions. Later, the day became the date of many protests and demonstrations by women including a Russian women’s strike in 1917 for “bread and peace”. But it was only after WWII in 1946 that the date of March 8th was set by Teresa Mattei, director of the Italian Women’s Union. Mattei subsequently chose the yellow mimosa flower as the symbol for International Women’s Day in Italy.
The mimosa flower, originally of the acacia species, but commonly known as mimosa was first introduced to Europe in 1820. And because it was a widespread, fast-growing shrub Mattei found that it was the best affordable choice as opposed to the French symbol of violets. Nowadays, men give the flower to the women in their lives as a way to show their appreciation, and women offer each other the flower as a sign of solidarity.
Another interesting custom of Festa delle Donne is the torta mimosa, a yellow crumbled sponge cake reminiscent of the appearance of the mimosa flower with a custard center and a hint of orange. The celebration itself may have become a spin-off valentine but it still serves as a day to commemorate female resilience. And the Festa is not limited to just cake and flowers – just check out all these events happening that day…:
Free Admission for Women in Italian Museums
Museums and cultural heritage sites will offer free entry to women in honor of IWD and will also make a point to highlight works of art featuring women on the day.
Wed. March 8th
Play Again at Goa
Goa Club is hosting this IWD party with the musical talents of female DJ Silvie Loto. Loto has been recently signed with Berlin record label Bpitch Control and is known for her sultry dance and dub-techno mixes accompanied by haunting vocal tracks.
Via Giuseppe Libetta, 13
Wed. March 8th, 11.30pm-5am
Female in March at Ex Dogana
This event will mark the 9th edition of Ex Dogana’s “The Real Female Day” a party of epic proportions with 30 DJs and over 10 hours of music. The event will also host art exhibitions Obiettivo Donna and Caro Divario, photographic campaigns against gender discrimination.
Via dello Scalo San Lorenzo, 10
Wed. March 8th, 7pm – 4am
Entry free before 10pm; after 10pm entrance €10
Women’s Day Aperitif at La Griffe Hotel
Nothing quite makes an aperitif like an amazing view. Enjoy a drink with your girlfriends while viewing the twinkling lights of the city scape from overhead at the rooftop of La Griffe Hotel Roma.
Via Nazionale, 13
Wed. March 8th, 7pm – 12am (rsvp)
Entry fee €15 (drink + buffet included)
Who Run the World? at 692 Osteria & Baretto
The 692 Osteria & Baretto opens its doors this Wednesday for the celebration of women with a ladies drinks list for you and your gal pals – and girls only tables get a 10% discount! The music will feature all your favorite musical feminists from Beyoncé to Janet Jackson to get you in that empowered mood.
Via Tuscolana, 692
Wed. March 8th, 7pm-2am
Free admission, no list
Antonello Venditi: Viva Le Donne
Italian Singer-songwriter Antonello Venditti is dedicating this concert solely for women and is ready to use his soulful voice and equally soulful lyrics to depict an accurate portrayal of women and their progress.
Piazzale dello Sport, 1
Tickets available at ticketone.it