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Berlin had the fewest number of public holidays of any German state in — eschewing several of the more minor holidays tied either to Christian tradition or to German events like Karneval that are common in other states. The move affects millions of workers in Berlin, Germany's capital and by far the country's most populous city. German women's rights activist and Marxist theorist Clara Zetkin was the one who tabled the idea. Germany celebrated the holiday for the first time in March 19, , along with Austria, Switzerland and Denmark.
Since , Women's Day has been celebrated on March 8. The United Nations began celebrating it in It was an event of considerable importance and a public holiday in the former communist East Germany, the GDR. The GDR also awarded a Clara Zetkin Medal to women and organizations deemed to have supported feminist and socialist causes in the country.
Every evening at UTC, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here. Many Germans like pointing out the mistreatment of women abroad.
But in truth, Germany is far from perfect itself, argues Beate Hinrichs. Several recent studies have shown that Germany lags behind other rich, OECD countries in terms of female representation in the corporate sector. A new study on public companies in the country continues this trend. Berlin's progressive government has announced it supports the mayor's proposal to make March 8 a public holiday. The highly symbolic initiative would make the German capital a leader in recognizing women's achievements.