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8M - International Women's Day


Traditionally, throughout the month of March and more specifically on the 8th of March, "International Women's Day" is celebrated. This is due to a series of historical events that occurred over time, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, mainly in the United States and Europe. Women have fought tirelessly for their rights because, compared to men, they were very vulnerable due to an abysmal inequality within society and globally.


Although there is a lot of information describing how these events took place, they differ in dates and details, depending on the country where one is and the source where one is looking for information. The truth is that at that time, women did not have a voice in political or social decisions, that is, they did not have the right to vote, they did not have the same labor equality as their male colleagues, neither in the workload nor in equal wages. Faced with these problems, women's meetings began to be held in different countries of the world until finally the First Working Women's Day was established in Denmark, a day of struggle that brought women together, empowered them and thus gained more strength to continue facing inequalities. However, the date of the fight at that time was not yet well defined.


In industrial work, women were exploited, working between thirteen and fourteen hours in an environment totally excluded from rights. That is why at the beginning of the 20th century, in New York, employees of a textile factory were on strike, demanding their rights and sadly died because of a great fire that hit the factory. In this way, 129 women died during the month of March.


In Russia, the situation was not much different. Women felt the lack of equal rights and this increased as a result of the serious economic crisis that the country was going through due to the tsarist regime and the First World War. Almost half of the working class were women. On February 23 or March 8, according to the Gregorian calendar, the women again went on strike that resulted in the abdication of the Tsar.


These were the greatest events that gave rise to the women's struggle and in 1975 the United Nations Organization had March 8 to commemorate the day in honor of them internationally. In previous decades, it was customary to congratulate women on their day, with flowers, gifts or simply saying “happy woman’s day.” As time went by, this custom lost value and today, although some people continue to congratulate women, most of them choose to raise awareness in society by letting them know that it is not a date of celebration but rather a date of struggle. For a few years now, especially in Latin American countries where machismo is very marked, every March 8, a congregation of women is held in each city, and they march for their rights already acquired and for those to come. For example, the main issues are the legalization of abortion, the right to a life free of violence and gender equality, especially in jobs and salaries compared to men.



Without a doubt, there are famous women who have marked a before and after in time, such as: Marie Curie, the most famous scientist in history and known for being the first woman to have won two Nobel Prizes; Coco Chanel, who has been a fashion icon in the 20th century; Amelia Earhart, known for being the first female pilot to cross the Atlantic Ocean; Frida Kahlo, very famous Mexican artist; Virginia Woolf, excellent British writer; and Rosa París, faithful defender of civil rights in the United States, among others. Today, Antonela Roccuzzo is a model to follow on social networks with almost 40 million followers.


We can also mention many inventions created by women such as: Melitta Bentz, created the paper filter for coffee; Alice H. Parker; created the gas heater; Hedy Lamarr co-created the frequency system that gave life to Wi-Fi; and Marian Croak who created the voice over internet protocol.


It is very important to reflect on the importance that women have in society and the rights for which they fight. Gender equality is fundamental in life and unfortunately in many countries we are still fighting for it.

 

Written by Marina Chauffaille



 

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