Friday, March 8, 2013

Happy International Women's Day!!!!

poster from the 100th IWD in 2011 is from here
IWD is now an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother's Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.

In celebration of all the work, all the hard labor, all the unrecognised contributions women across the globe make to humanity, especially to their own humanity, I post this in honor of women around the world!


Cerise said...

It's encouraging that IWD is still alive and appreciated in many countries. Our (Czech) right wing government wanted to replace IWD with Mother's Day, saying that they are the same and that IWD is a communist archaic >.< I wish one day IWD will be a holiday in all countries and another day every day in a year will be IWD. Big hugs to my sisters and brothers.

Julian Real said...

Hi and welcome, Cerise!

Thank you for sharing what's going on in Czech Republic. I am concerned as well about IWD being translated as only a Mother's Day celebration. I'd hate for something celebrating and honoring women to be collapsed into only acknowledging women who give birth to and/or raise children. That'd seem like a patriarchal hijacking of the Day to me!

Cerise said...

Hi Julian,
Czech society is still very conservative despite being one of the most atheist in the world, so for most Czech people the words "woman" and "mother" mean the same. Even my own father used to bring me flowers for Mother's Day saying that I would be a mum one day too. I appreciated his attempt not to make me feel left out with empty hands, but he was wrong about me and motherhood. In here it's more acceptable to become mother at the age of 15 or change your sex than being childfree. During communism women were defined predominantly as as wives, mothers and workers, now it is wives, mothers and sex objects. Czech women tend to be oblivious to it and often when they speak for women's rights they add "but I'm no feminist" to their speech. It's a really sad picture, our society is hostile to mentions of feminism or even acknowledging that patriarchy exists. Women in here often complain about Czech men's behaviour, but take their aggression out on other women and sweet talk the perps, they do their best not to piss off men even though it means stomping on their dignity.

Julian Real said...

Hi Cerise,

Thank you for that explanation of what is happening there. I was just talking today with a white U.S. woman who understands the feminist movement as something that was once very necessary, but perhaps now we can and should move beyond it.

I was reminded by your comment, and through contacts with other women around the world, including women with less privilege in the U.S., that feminism is still vitally important and that anti-feminism is unfortunately alive and well.

What you describe about Czech society is consistent with so many places, including many in the U.S., including many rural white areas of the U.S.: any talk of being a feminist is met with disrespect or hostility, and speaking about patriarchy and male supremacy is frowned upon or punished.

The need for revolutionary feminism is not even close to being in the past. I hope you have support there for your views and politics. Thank you for sharing them here. Please keep me informed about what is happening there. And stay strong.