International Women’s Day

iwd_5International Women’s Day was created in 1910 at the Second International Conference of Working Women, held in Copenhagen. It was designed not as a day for men to give flowers to their wives/girlfriends but rather as a day in which women (and men) all over the world should press for women’s rights. I have head some question why celebrate a Women’s Day if women have already reached equality. The answer is simple – even in countries where women have been recognized as equal under the law, there is still much for which to fight. When I was in Spain, I wrote about issues affecting women there. Here in Canada, women are reeling from the recent decision by the conservative government to remove the right of public sector workers to file complaints for pay equity with the Canadian Human Rigths Commission and to prevent unions from representing women on pay equity complaints, basically leaving women to fight for their rights individually. I’m still a bit shocked by these new developments, which Harper managed to pass through Parliament by making it part of the budget and thus preventing the other parties from shooting it down since no one wants another election now and if the budget didn’t pass, the government would fall.

Watch a video and read more information about International Women’s Day in the event’s official website.

In 2007 I dedicated a post to my grandmother, a quite remarkable woman. I saw her for the last time on my birthday, May 31st 2007. I left Brazil the next day and she passed away in December of that year. I still miss her.

If you read Portuguese, take a look at this post. It’s one of the best I’ve read about International Women’s Day.

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Author: guerson

Born and raised in Brazil, a Canadian stole my heart and took me to Canada in 1999. After seven years between Montreal and Toronto, we then moved to Barcelona, Spain, where I did research for my PhD thesis. This blog began as a chronicle of our adventures while living in Barcelona and exploring the old world and has acquired a life of its own after we moved back to Canada.

8 thoughts on “International Women’s Day”

  1. Alex, o dia da mulher e’ realmente um dia pra homenagear pessoas como a sua avo, e pra inspirar as que ainda nao tiveram tanta coragem. Tambem dispenso as flores.
    Carla

  2. A mulher conseguiu muita coisa fora de casa, mas dentro dela as coisas nao mudaram muito pq mesmo as afortunadas cujos maridos ajudam nas atividades domesticas ainda ficam com a maior parte daquelas atividades.
    Os comerciais na tv ainda sao machistas, mostrando mulheres fazendo propaganda de margarina, sabao em po e cereal.
    Acho que conquistamos muita coisa grande, agora precisamos lutar pelas pequenas coisas do dia-a-dia.
    bjs

  3. Alex, I had no idea that Harper had pushed through that stuff about pay equity!! What is going on? Are we moving backwards in terms of women’s work rights?

  4. Jeanne

    Eu acho que dentro de casa as mudanças dependem, em grande parte, das mulheres. São elas que educam os homens e reenforçam as diferenças de gênero. Eu vejo minha mãe e minhas primas reclamando de seus maridos, que eles não fazem nada, mas elas mesmas não deixam eles fazerem nada e quando eles fazem algo ainda reclamam que fizeram mal feito…

    Eu lembro da minha prima dizendo que no início ela fazia tudo pq ela não trabalhava e queria agradar o marido mas hoje ela está cansada disso e agora ela trabalha. Eu fui muito sincera com ela e disse que foi ela que treinou o marido a ser dessa forma.

    Se a mulher não se importa de limpar a casa, ótimo, mas se ela se importa e o faz só pq não está trabalhando, isso eu acho errado. Eu nunca tive vocação pra dona de casa e por isso nunca assumi controle por ela. Eu não trabalhei durante o meu primeiro ano no Canada e nem por isso fazia tudo que tinha que ser feito em casa. Muito pelo contrário, a limpeza e as compras eram reservadas para o sábado, quando o Alan estava em casa pra ajudar. Na época ele cozinhava de vez em quando também. Nunca me senti na obrigação de fazer tudo dentro de casa e esse é o grande problema – muitas mulheres se dão essa obrigação.

    nem preciso dizer que minha mãe fica louca quando vem aqui em casa e vê o Alan fazendo tudo né? ;)

    Dana,

    Looks like Harper has issues with women’s work rights (or women in general, who knows). He tried to put it in that economic update back in November that caused such scandal and caused parliament to be prorogued. He didn’t forget and sneakily stuffed it into the budget. It’s really sad to see the way that man is slowly doing away with everything Canada stands for.

  5. He really is like a mini-Bush, isn’t he? I’m just floored that he is going backward on an issue that should be settled by now (although I know it isn’t, given how many women’s rights groups are still fighting for equal pay). Actually at UTEP, there seems to be a major discrepancy between male and female faculty salaries. So much so, that one of my friends is thinking about researching it to see just how divergent they are and if anything can be done.

  6. Alexandra

    It’s a lovely post about your grandmother.

    About March 8th. I do think that the women that already achieved some recognition need to be remembered. I agree that it shouldn’t be transformed into a valentine/mother’s day though. It’s a good moment to inform and show what can be done to promote gender equality. The law hasn’t been able to do that yet.

    However, congratulations for you, for you’re an inspiring woman!

  7. Alex, com certeza as flores são populares em países machistas. Pelo menos, no Brasil e na Itália elas são.
    Aqui, março é o mes da mulher, mas ninguém nem comenta.

    No sábado saí com uma amiga canadense e uma italiana, o tema da conversa foi o dia da mulher em nossos países. A canadense passou a tarde de olhos arregalados ouvindo nossas histórias machistas. Uma tristeza, coitada. Deve ter ficado deprimida.

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