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Use your voice to eliminate the variable.

Use your voice to eliminate the variable. ( Spanish version bellow).

In March we commemorate Women's Day. First it was the day for female workers and then we stopped making the distinction between working outside or inside the home environment and we included them all in the commemoration.

March 8th was held for the first time in 1911, a year after Copenhagen hosted the II International Conference of Socialist Women, which was attended by more than 100 women from 17 different countries. It was within the framework of this conference that the prominent German activist, Clara Zetkin, asked to promote a day to claim equal rights for women. They decided to highlight March 8th, the day on which it is believed that two workers' strikes took place, one in 1857 and the other in 1908. Both related to textiles: the first in a New York factory where women demanded regulation of their working hours since they had to work for more than 12 hours a day. Moreover, they wanted to improve their lousy salary and the terrible conditions in which they worked. For this, a march through the city was organized that was met with brutal repression by the police.

In the strike of 1908, 40 thousand seamstresses from large factories all around the country took part in the strike to demand equal rights. In one of them, the Cotton Textil Factory a fire broke out causing the death of more than 120 women and more than twenty men, who found the factory doors closed when trying to exit the factory.

Ever since Zetkin's proposal in 1911, the day has been celebrated annually, but it was not until 1975 that the United Nations General Assembly formally established it as an international day. She knew how to use her voice to demand the right thing: equality.

And here we are, today, more than 100 years later, still claiming that same equality which seems close but yet never comes. At this point in the game, we still have to explain that machismo and feminism are not opposite terms. Not even comparable. It has nothing to do with machismo: attitude or way of thinking of those who maintain that men are by nature superior to women; with feminism: the principle of equal rights is both for women and men.

Much remains to be done, not only on the most serious and urgent problem that is sexist violence, but also on important issues such as the wage gap, the distribution of care, glass ceilings and an issue that is rarely talked about but in the that it will take a lot of work to achieve an effective and real equality: masculinized and feminized professions.

Traditionally, women have preferred careers that have to do with the world of care, while men have been more present in technological and scientific careers. Today, as the future looks digital, we cannot allow half the world to remain excluded from job opportunities. For this, the public administration must promote and facilitate women's access to scientific careers through positive discrimination policies. More pedagogy and more communication are also needed. Pedagogy to bring girls closer to careers and jobs in which today we still see many more men than women: astronauts, computer scientists, chemists, policemen, firefighters and many more. And secondly, to promote through the media, books, social media SM…, the visibility of women who are referents in these areas (and in all of them, in general).

For all this, it is necessary to use our voice. Raise it up to say that we are fed up with the injustice that inequality represents. 8M is a good day to do it because we will be the focus of media attention and society and people will take time to listen to us. Let's talk, and help our girls think that they can be anything they want to dream, a dream in which being a man or a woman is not a variable to take into account. On 8m let's use our voice to eliminate the variable.

Written by Irene Sánchez

Translated by Noèlia Ribó.


Usa tu voz para eliminar la variable.

En marzo conmemoramos el día de las mujeres. Primero fue de las trabajadoras y después dejamos de hacer la distinción entre trabajar fuera o dentro de casa y nos incluimos a todas.

El 8 de marzo se celebró por primera vez en 1911, un año después que Copenhague acogiera la II Conferencia Internacional de mujeres socialistas, a la que asistieron más de 100 mujeres de 17 países distintos. Fue en el marco de esta conferencia cuando la destacada activista alemana, Clara Zetkin, solicitó promover un día para reivindicar la igualdad de derechos de las mujeres. Decidieron destacar el 8 de marzo, día en que se cree que tuvieron lugar dos huelgas de trabajadoras, una en 1857 y otra en 1908. Ambas relacionadas con el textil: la primera en una fábrica de Nueva York donde las mujeres exigían regulación de las jornadas laborales (más de 12 horas diarias) y mejorar el pésimo sueldo y las lamentables condiciones en las que trabajaban. Se organizó para esto, una marcha por la ciudad que se encontró con una brutal represión por parte de la policía.

En la huelga de 1908 fueron 40 mil costureras de grandes fábricas del país las que se acogieron a la huelga para reclamar la igualdad de derechos. En una de ellas, la Cotton Textil Factory se produjo un incendio que provocó la muerte de más de 120 mujeres y más de una veintena de hombres, que encontraron las puertas de la fábrica cerradas.

Desde la propuesta de Zetkin en 1911 el día se celebra, pero no fue hasta 1975 cuando la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas lo estableció formalmente como día internacional. Ella supo cómo usar su voz para reclamar lo justo: la igualdad.

Y aquí estamos, hoy en día, más de 100 años después aún reclamando esa igualdad que parece cercana pero que nunca llega. A estas alturas de la partida aún tenemos que explicar que machismo y feminismo no son términos opuestos. Ni tan siquiera comparables. Que no tiene nada que ver el machismo: actitud o manera de pensar de quien sostiene que el hombre es por naturaleza superior a la mujer; con el feminismo: principio de igualdad de derechos de la mujer y el hombre.

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