Today is the 103rd anniversary of the International Women’s day. INWD celebrates the political, economic, and social accomplishments of women from all periods of time. It officially began in 1911 but the idea was sparked years before. The first record of an organized action by women for their rights was in 1857! It was a movement that quickly spread across the globe and today even countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Cuba, and China hold demonstrations. In the past it was celebrated on a few different dates but since 1913 the date has been set to March 8th.
In 1977 the General Assembly of the United Nations passed a resolution inviting every country to announce any day of the year to recognize the United Nation’s Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace; though, many countries celebrate this on March 8th alongside International Women’s Day. Like I have stated earlier it is celebrated in many countries around the world which gave inspiration to The Guardian to put together a series of photographs of communities celebrating this day. Even Google has made an encouraging video in support of today. It is also really compelling to see supporters of INWD in countries that were very oppressive to women in the past.
So here in Spain a few cities have stepped up to promote the change for gender equality. In Marbella, Andalucia the Marbella Branch of the Spanish Federation of University Women held an event where documentaries of leadership, empowerment, lifelong education and equality of women were shown. In the city of Valencia they have changed the figure from the man in the traffic walk/run signs to a female. And, in Gijon, Asturias dozens of red shoes were on display in the main Plaza demonstrating violence against women.
Here in Burgos there was just a march down the main street of the town ending in the main square. It started out by the statue of El Cid, the most famous man from Burgos, where the activists got their flags together and the drummers (which my flatmate was a part of) pumped the crowd up.
It then moved from the square of El Cid down the main street of the town. The demonstrators chanted things like “if you are a conscious woman then you need to fight” and “for all women.”
The marching, chanting, and the beating of the drums lasted for an hour and a half before finishing in the main square (which I wasn’t a part of actually) and I’m assuming after cheering on women’s rights….most of them went a downed some Spanish wine at the bars….because Espain.
What kind of demonstrations did you see today for International Women’s Day? Let me know in the comments below!
P.S. Here are some interesting facts about women that people should know taken from dosomething.org. I’m also going to link the HeForShe speech that Emma Watson gave for her Goodwill Ambassador campaign last year.
- Every 90 seconds, a woman dies during pregnancy or childbirth. Most of these deaths are preventable, but due to gender-based discrimination many women are not given the proper education or care they need.
- As many as 1 in 4 women experience physical or sexual violence during pregnancy. Take a stand and collect cell phones to benefit domestic violence programs. Sign up for Cell Phones for Survivors.
- Women make up 80% of all refugees and displaced people. Instruments of genocide such as sexual violence and rape are often directed at women and girls.
- Women are seldom included in formal peace processes. Women are usually not represented among decision-makers and military leaders, the usual participants in these processes.
- Women gained the right to vote in America in 1920.
- As of January 2012, women held 15.1% of all presiding officer posts in governments the world.
- More than 16.4 million women in the world have HIV/AIDS.
- The US government estimates that 600,000 to 800,000 victims (mostly women and children) are trafficked globally each year, and 14,500 to 17,500 are trafficked into the US.
- Women account for 70% of the population living in absolute poverty (on less than $1.00 a day).
- Over 60 million girls worldwide are child brides, married before the age of 18.
- 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not yet considered a crime.
HeForShe video on YouTube