Sunday March 8th was International Women’s Day. All over the world, there were marches, protests and a variety of events or eventos to commemorate this day. In Mexico, women marched to protest the rising violence. On Monday March 9th, they staged what was perhaps one of the biggest protests in the history of the country: Un Día Sin Mujeres.
Día Internacional de la Mujer
International Women’s Day has been celebrated since 1911. In 1975, the UN asked all its members to to officially declare March 8th the day of International Women’s Rights. This day is not meant to only celebrate women for being women; it is more a day to remember what derechos or rights have been achieved throughout the feminist movements, and to create awareness of what still has to be done.
There are two common misconception about the movimiento feminista or feminist movement that the video below clarifies. First, the movement is not uniform in goals and methods. Different group of feminist men and women fight for different things. Second, the movement is not meant to “take down” men and make them lesser, but rather to give women equal opportunities in all aspects of society. The video below explains the feminist movements throughout history.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hL1VUOOGWFw?feature=oembed&w=500&h=281]
Situación Actual en México
During the last years, Mexico has seen a significant growth in feminicidios or femicides. In 2019, there were over a thousand feminicidios; in January of 2020, there were 73 women killed. The worst part is that these numbers are based on actual reports; there are countless of families who do not go to the police. To read more about these numbers, you can check this article.
Unfortunately, feminicidios are not the only concern. General violence towards women is on the rise including sexual violence, domestic violence and aggravated assault. In the past few months, there have been a couple of high profile cases where the male attacker went free despite the evidence. Women in Mexico, demanding that the government do something, planned what became one of the biggest marches in the country on Sunday March 8th. Estimates of the march have the numbers at close to 100,000 men and women, children and adults demanding equality, freedom and safety.
On March 9th, Mexican women staged a day without them to show not only their economical and political power, but also to simulate what each individual killing would represent. Women in Mexico didn’t show up to work, did not go shopping, did not eat at restaurants, did not go to school, did not use social media. Those who were forced to go to work or school, wore purple to show their solidarity. The video below summarises what women were asking for in this day without them.
Quiero que no me insulten en la calle por lo que traigo puesto.
Quiero caminar sola sin sentir miedo.
Quiero que nos dejen de echar la culpa.
Queremos sentirnos seguras.
Queremos estar presentes.
Queremos no tener miedo cuando viajamos en transporte publico solas por la noche.
Queremos que nos crean.
Queremos estar vivas, libres y sin miedo.
Queremos que el día de hoy no sea la realidad de mañana.
For those of you looking to learn more about the history of women in Latin America, I found this very interesting video that tells more. How is International Women’s Day where you live?