International Women’s Day

9 03 2010

I know I’m hella late to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) however, I’m a firm believer that we should not just wait for one day or month to celebrate IWD or Black History Month (BHM); To do so would be to tokenize the struggle that came to recognize the legacy of past.

IWD is  a hundred years old.  IWD is more than a day to say the genders are still not equal.  IWD is more than a day to say thank you to all the women that means something in your life or the famous or popular women in history and today (Oprah Winfred, Jackie Kennedy, Magaret Thatcher, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Hillary Clinton, Angelina Jolie, and so on…)

This day symbolizes a hundred  years of resistance and fight.  It started out as a fight to improve 1st world women’s struggle to have the right to vote like their male counterparts.  Women for years have been fighting before IWD for the same rights men receive.  In fact, even before Feudal and Captialistic societies, some societies were matriarchal (women held power over men in these societies).

Through the century, many struggles were fought on many fronts to grant women more rights such as equal wages or right to hold jobs that were exclusive to men.  Growing up, I didn’t know women weren’t allowed to wear pants or jeans in the United States.  In San Francisco, the first 2 women police women were recruited out of 20 women in the 1970s.  The two women were harrassed in the department for along time before one of them quit.

Today, although women are allowed to hold many of the same jobs in the United States, wages are still an issue.  According to the International Labor Organization, women make less than 75 cents for every dollar men make.  Women also have a harder time getting employed because of gender preferences.  Less than 50% of women are working for a wage around the world.

For 3rd world women and poor women, the struggle adds another layer.  Many Religions and Beliefs around the world condemn the poor for having children.  This is also a form of blaming the poor for being poor when simply their root problem is that they are exploited and that their state of being poor is a symptom of a rotten system in society.  In the United States, some doctors before the 1960s performed illegal operations off sterilizing Black and Latino women asking for an abortion. Instead of pointing the finger on Capitalism and its form of exploitation, politician and business men point the finger on the churches and the poor; They point the fingers at the church for not allowing contraceptions and point their fingers at the poor for having children and thereby worsening their own economic situation.

Despite all the attacks on women, women have been resilient especially those who are poor.  Together, when women raise their voices together they have become a force that can not be ignored.

GABRIELA USA launched iVOW on the centennial of IWD.  According to GABRIELA USA press statement, “On March 6, 2010, GABRIELA USA participated in the World March of Women, joining women from over fifty countries to stand for women’s rights. In the Philippines, over 200 women’s organizations are mobilizing with GABRIELA, sacrificing a day’s wages to demand human rights and a pro-people women’s voice in government.  The calls for the World March of Women are resisting poverty, militarization and violence against women.”

GABRIELA USA, an alliance of Filipino women’s organizations in the United States, marched with women around the world to call for all communities to take a vow to fight violence against women and children.

“In the US, the reach of the economic crisis affects not only women’s worsening work conditions, or skyrocketing unemployment and financial instability, but is also seen in the exacerbation of domestic violence. Recent studies show rising stress over economic problems resulting in rising rates in reported domestic violence cases. Simultaneously, the budgets for domestic violence services and shelters are being cut back, most notably in California where statewide funds have been completely withdrawn. The attack on women is three fold, in their workplaces, their homes and even by the state,” the statement concluded.

Happy International Women’s Day, to all the martyrs who have fought for women’s rights and to all those men who stood side by side with women and their struggle, we honor you all.  Onward with the struggle, it does not stop with the liberation of women but the complete freedom of all marginalize in society!

Advertisements

Actions

Information

One response

9 03 2010
Patrick Dacre

In Celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 1st call for international womens day in 1910, we are making an online reader’s edition of our new book, Wings & Dreams: 4 Elements of a New Feminism, accessible here.

http://www.sophiasirius.net

Please share this among your women’s communities.

The Sophia Sirius Publishing Team

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: