Women Workers Strike - 1912

1) March 8th is celebrated as International Women’s day.


“The first IWD was observed on 28 February 1909 in the United States following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America. Among other relevant historic events, it came to commemorate the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, that killed 146 garment workers in New York. The idea of having an international women’s day was first put forward at the turn of the 20th century amid rapid world industrialization and economic expansion that led to protests over working conditions.”

“On occasion of 2010 International Women’s Day the International Committee of the Red Cross is drawing attention to the hardship displaced women endure. The displacement of populations is one of the gravest consequences of today’s armed conflicts.”

International Women’s Day Site:


2) Nujood Ali

Nujood Ali was forced into marriage when she was 9, as is the traditional custom in Yemeni, which has no age limit for marriage.  She was able to obtain a divorced, while the help of a sympathetic judge, who had her father and husband taken into custody. Nujood was defended in court by Shada Nasser, and she was granted a divorced because her husband had raped her.  Under Yemeni law a husband is required not to have sex with his child bride until after she reaches puberty.

Nujood’s story in Wikipedia:


“Nujood Ali was only nine years old when her parents married her off to a man in his thirties. Regularly beaten by her in-laws, raped by her husband, she escaped on 2 April 2008, two months after the wedding. On the advice of the second wife of her father, she went directly to court to seek a divorce. After half a day of waiting, she was noticed by the judge, Mohammed al-ghada who took it upon himself to host her temporarily and had her father and husband taken into custody.

Shada Nasser agreed to defend the charge. For the lawyer, it was the continuation of a struggle begun with the installation of her practice in Sana’s, where she opened in the 1990s and the first female cabinet where she built a customer base by offering its services to women prisoners.

Yemeni law sets no minimum age for marriage but prohibits sexual relations with young wives until they are ready. In court, Shaha argued that the husband had broken the law because there had been rape. Ali rejected the judge’s proposal to resume living together after a break of three to five years. On 15 April 2008, the court granted her a divorce.

After the trial, Ali joined her family in the suburb of Sanaa. She returned to school in the fall of 2008, for the first time since her marriage, with plans to become a lawyer. After the publication of her memoir in 2009, revenues from international sales of the book were supposed to help pay for her schooling, but she didn’t attend on a regular basis. Due to subsequent negative press coverage about Yemen, Nujood’s passport was confiscated in March 2009 and she was prevented from attending the Women’s World Award in Vienna, Austria. Media reports also questioned whether proceeds from the book were making their way to the family.

However, as of 2010 the family is living in a new home bought with the help of her French publisher, and running a grocery store in the space below it. Nujood and her younger sister are attending private school full time.

The English language version of the memoir was published in March 2010. Introducing the work, New York Times op-ed columnist Nicholas Kristof praised the work done to raise awareness regarding the societal problems associated with polygamy and child marriage, saying, “little girls like Nujood may prove more effective than missiles at defeating terrorists.”

Bread & Roses (written for the Women’s Workers strike of 1912) from Arabic language site.