Friday 7th March, 2008

 

Silent protest planned for International Women’s Day

 
 
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Today is International Women’s Day, and while those of other nations will mark the day with pomp and gaiety, some feminists of T&T will march in single file around the Red House, Port-of-Spain.

Jacqueline Burgess, financial officer of the NGO Women Working for Social Progress, announced yesterday the plans during a telephone interview.

“We will walk in single file, and silently protest to lobby the introduction of the package of children’s legislation and the gender policy, which has been going in and around, back and forth to Parliament.”

The peaceful protest, she said, was targeted toward parliamentarians, since the completed legislation “hasn’t seen the light of day.”

Burgess and her group are expected to be joined by other child rights and women’s groups in the country.

The walk is carded between 12.30 and 1.30

The Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs will also host a fair in commemoration of the day on the Brian Lara Promenade, Port-of-Spain.

Burgess’ group has a booth at the fair, where they and other groups intend to spend the day educating citizens on women’s rights.

History

International Women's Day is marked on March 8 every year. It is a major day of global celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women.

Started as a political event, the holiday blended in the culture of many countries.

The political and human rights theme, as designated by the United Nations, runs strong, and political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide are brought out and examined in a hopeful manner.

The idea of having an international women's day was first put forward at the turn of the 20th century, amid rapid world industrialisation and economic expansion that led to protests over working conditions.

In 1910, the first international women's conference was held in Copenhagen, Denmark, by the Second International and an “International Women's Day” was established.

The day is an official holiday in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, China, Cuba, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

In countries like Portugal, it is usual, on the night of March 8, that groups of women celebrate in "women-only" dinners and parties.

In 1975, which had been designated as International Women’s Year, the United Nations gave official sanction to and began sponsoring International Women's Day.

Today, many events are held by women's groups around the world with many governments and organisations giving their support.