Up until today I believed that Woman's Day began as a memorial of a group of women who died in a factory fire accident back in the 1900's - don't ask me why, I can't quite remember! Although I've read that many people also make that mistake -, but it's actual origin comes from the manifestations of Russian women for better life and work conditions and against the entry of tsarist Russia in the First World War. These manifestations also marked the beginning of the 1917 Russian Revolution. With the advent of Stalinism, the International Woman's Day became an element of the party propaganda.
However, the idea of celebrating a woman's day had already appeared since the first couple years of the twentieth century in the USA and Europe, in the context of women fighting for better life and work conditions, as well as for the voting right.
In the West, though, the International Woman'sDay was celebrated from the beginning of the century until the 1920's, when it fell in disuse. The date was forgotten for a long time and was only recovered by the feminist movement in the 1960's. In 1975 the UN stablished 1975 as the International Woman's Year and march 8 was chosen to celebrate women and their social, political and economical achievements in 1977. Sadly, nowadays, it has completely lost its original sense, acquiring a festive and shallow commercial nature.