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Saturday, August 27, 2016

International Women's Day In Soviet-Era Cards

Published 7 March 2013

Although it arose from the women's movement in several countries over 100 years ago, International Women's Day took on a life of its own in the Soviet Union. March 8 evolved from a day of action for equal rights into an occasion when men were expected (and often obligated) to show their appreciation with flowers and gifts. In this gallery of Soviet-era posters and cards, the focus varies widely, from women's achievements to colorful celebrations of spring, motherhood, and international friendship. (Public domain images primarily from


A 1932 poster shows the political origins of International Women's Day. The text reads: "March 8: A day of rebellion by working women against kitchen slavery. Say no to the oppression and vacuity of household work!"


By the 1960s, however, March 8 had taken on a less confrontational tone.


In the years in between, interpretations of International Women's Day ran the gamut. This card celebrates women in their roles as mothers, nurses, factory workers, and farmers.


Some cards pay tribute to the archetypal mother...


...and others to the achievements of specific women, like Valentina Tereshkova, who in 1963 became the first woman in space.


A proud construction worker receives flowers for her hard work.


The international nature of the day is a common theme.


"Greetings to our mothers!"


The flags of the Soviet republics, with the slogan, "Glory to the women of our motherland."


Many Soviet-era cards combine spring imagery with traditional dress.


"All kinds of moms are needed; all kinds of moms are important."