Protests on International Women’s Day

Protests on International Women's Day

International Women’s Day occurs on Mar. 8 every year. This holiday is a celebration as well as an opportunity for awareness of women’s rights. On this day, women all over the world fill the streets holding banners and signs to make their statement. In many countries, women are consistently treated as the lesser gender. Even in 2020, women are being subjected to violence and unfair legislation. Women all over the world are having to fight for rights that most people view as basic human rights. 

A large issue in Turkey, for example, is that the Prime Minister has made an announcement that all Turkish women must have three children and that the right to abortion will not exist for them. On International Women’s Day, in Istanbul, Turkey, women marched on along a popular pedestrian area for their rights. Awareness of the issues that they face everyday was the main goal of the women’s peaceful protest. The women advocated for higher pay and security of employment. 

Unfortunately, according to NBC News, “Turkish riot police fired tear gas to disperse thousands of demonstrators.”

The police proceeded to shut down the street and declare that the women’s actions were not authorized or certified. 

Chile held the largest events for International Women’s Day. It is estimated that over 150,000 people participated. People danced and played music in celebration of women, but they also demanded notice of the issues with the way women are treated and regarded. The women in Chile are harmed and killed in violence, and they are tired of no one taking actions against it. This demonstration became violent inside the crowds and escalated to the point of police using water cannons to protect themselves from hurtling rocks. 

This past Sunday, tens of thousands of women took to the streets in Mexico City to protest the violence they face every day. The march’s purpose was to remind Mexican government that about 10 women are killed daily and disappear forever, usually by their male partners. Inspired by the global #MeToo movement, which fights against sexual assault and harassment, the strikes consisted of singing feminist anthems, voicing their demands, and displaying art. The women in Mexico are receiving great support from fellow feminists across the world.

Lorena Wolffer, an artist and activist, states, “It is no longer possible to continue living in a country where a woman can be murdered in a brutal way, without any consequence, and in a culture that allows for it to happen.”

Photo of a march on International Women’s Day. Year unknown.

In Pakistan, women from different cities all over the country accomplished rallying in the streets, despite court petitions that were filed to stop them. Due to the country’s significant amount of conservative groups, women often do not feel safe in public. In return, Pakistani officials promised to protect the women participating in the march against any counter groups, like Jamaat-e-Islami. 

The threat of the coronavirus was not enough to stop tens of thousands of women to participate in their own marches in Madrid and other Spanish cities. A reported 120,000 people engaged in the march, and although there were no health constrictions due to the virus, anyone with symptoms was recommended to stay home. The most noticeable banner was written in Spanish and paraded in front of the march in the capital city reading, “With rights, without barriers. Feminists without frontiers.” 

Meghan Markle, the duchess of Sussex, voiced her activism at a school in East London. Her speeches focused on women’s labor and encouraged everyone to appreciate and respect all the contributions of women in society. 

Markle explained to the students, “For young men … you have your mothers, sisters, girlfriends, friends in your life — protect them. Make sure they are feeling valued and safe.” 

This was one of the more safe and peaceful demonstrations of the day. 

International Women’s Day is valued by all women around the world and will always represent the fight for women’s rights.