The movement for women’s suffrage gained momentum throughout Europe at the turn of the century. Among German political parties, the Social Democrats were most vocal in their support of women’s rights, including voting and equal employment rights. In accordance with a proposal by activist Clara Zetkin (1857-1933), March 8th was officially designated as International Women’s Day and first celebrated in 1911. This holiday was meant to give women a special opportunity to voice their demands.
This poster by Karl Maria Stadler calls for a public gathering of women on March 8, 1914. The text reads:
“Give Us Women’s Suffrage. Women’s Day, March 8, 1914. Until now, prejudice and reactionary attitudes have denied full civic rights to women, who as workers, mothers, and citizens wholly fulfill their duty, who must pay their taxes to the state as well as the municipality. / Fighting for this natural human right must be the firm, unwavering intention of every woman, every female worker. In this, no pause for rest, no respite is allowed. Come all, you women and girls, to the 9th public women’s assembly on Sunday, March 8, 1914, at 3pm.”
Despite activists’ efforts, women in Germany gained the right to vote only after the First World War.