Around the world, women take to the streets to fight inequality
By: Brandy Bond, Staff Writer
International Women’s Day is celebrated around the globe on March 8th, marking a call to action against gender inequality. The day itself has been established since the early 1900’s and is considered to be a collective global celebration where no single government, charity, network, institution or media hub is responsible for the events that take place during the day. International Women’s Day is a time for celebration as well as action and advocacy. Some major cities across the world that have demonstrated their female pride this year include:
- Manila, Philippines
In Manila, women took to the streets to condemn their president, Rodrigo Duterte, as one of the worst violators of women’s rights. Many feminists shouted and sang in the Plaza Miranda, the centre of Manila. Additionally, they handed out roses to all mothers, sisters, and widows of those suspected of drug offences and have subsequently been killed, due to their president’s brutality and lack of remorse. The protesters noted that thousands of their citizens have been the subjects of these extrajudicial killings, leading them to take a stand on this day of action.
- Madrid, Spain
In Spain, many feminist groups gathered in Madrid to highlight gender inequality. Many of the women refrained from spending money and went on a “domestic strike” by ignoring all of their chores for the day. Hundreds of women gathered in Puerta del Sol, which is the heart of Madrid, to start the day of protests that took place across the country. There were about 120 demonstrations that took place this year.
- Melbourne, Australia
Thousands of women gathered in Melbourne on Thursday to demonstrate their female pride. Many congregated to listen to various speakers, who provided messages about intersectionality and the issues that various minority groups face. Overall, the rally was a huge success and really spoke to the numerous issues that many females in Melbourne community face.
- Kabul, Afghanistan
Despite the past political climate, hundreds of women marched in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan on March 8th. They marched to remind their leaders that there was a lot of work to be done in terms of women’s rights, and to support the voice, education and protection of Afghan women.
- Seoul, South Korea
Many women’s rights leaders gathered in Seoul on March 8th to protest wage gaps and to continue promoting the message of the #MeToo campaign. Political leaders also joined in on this day of action to voice their support before an election takes place in June. In central Seoul, many of the activists handed out white roses as a symbol of support for the movement. Overall, the day was a huge success, speaking to the mission of many activist groups, such as The Korean Women’s Associations United, in defeating the “patriarchal structure that breeds gender discrimination.”
Regardless of where the marches took place, they all had a positive message to share regarding the rights of women and other minority communities. Although each of the marches were different in their own way, they all truly spoke to what International Women’s Day is all about – unity, reflection, advocacy, action, and the celebration of women.