2008 is the centennial of the First All-Russian Women's Congress, the largest public women's gathering before the February Revolution which toppled the Tsar in 1917 and one of the significant, though overlooked events in Russian and global herstory. The Congress, attended by over a thousand women, provided comprehensive information about the status of women in the Tsarist Empire, covering topics ranging from education and philanthropy to politics and economics. Although there was much agreement, especially on economic issues (many of the women at the congress were progressive and democratic socialists) conflict at the end between socialist women workers and feminists allied with the liberal Kadet party ended with the workers leaving the Congress, protesting the failure to approve a resolution favoring full universal women's suffrage. Alexandra Kollontai, leader of the women workers' group, was forced to flee the Congress, remaining away from Russia until March 1917. Kollontai, close to Klara Zetkin, leader of the international socialist women's movement, spent much of her exile in Germany. She conveyed her experiences noting the appeal of equal rights and women's suffrage as issues important in organizing Russian women workers for the 1908 Congress to Zetkin. Soon after Zetkin wrote that the 1908 Congress “had important significance for the entire international socialist movement.” Kollontai's 1908 Congress impressions added to the impetus for Zetkin to push for the establishment of International Women's Day in 1910. Zetkin insisted that the chief demand of the new holiday be women's suffrage. Seven years later, Russian women demonstrating on International Women's Day sparked the uprising that led to the abdication of the Tsar in early March. On March 19, 1917 a demonstration of about 40,000 Russian women led by Dr. Poliksena Shishkina-Iavein, President of the League for Women's Equal Rights demonstrated and won women's suffrage. Russian women were thus able to vote in the free elections for the Constituent Assembly later in 1917, the first and last free elections until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.