International Women’s Day (IWD). A day of campaigning ♀ … or a day to buy flowers 💐

Home / Activism / International Women’s Day (IWD). A day of campaigning ♀ … or a day to buy flowers 💐

🪃 In Australia, IWD is a day of campaigning and awareness, elements that are much closer to the day’s original purpose of bringing mainstream attention to issues affecting women.

However IWD as a day of significance in Australia is a relatively new phenomenon. Today was so invisible in Australia in the 1980s that the first time I learnt about this day was when I was a child in Macedonian School. Our dear teacher, who was following the same curriculum used in the then socialist Yugoslavia, surprised all of us Aussie-Macedonian children by telling us that that day, 8 March, was International Women’s Day, talked about Rosa Luxemburg and then we had to make a card for our mothers. We were confused: ‘it’s March; aren’t we supposed to be doing this card in May for Mother’s Day?’

🌍 Our innocent protests were somewhat correct. IWD in former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and other central/eastern European countries, despite their communist pasts, is more associated with buying flowers and chocolates for mothers, grandmothers, sisters and female colleagues, and women’s rights and issues barely get a word in. Actually, one Macedonian newspaper four years ago had to remind its readers that IWD started as a day of protest – quite a revelation for many.

❗ IWD should be as it was intended: to bring awareness and attention to women’s rights and issues as there is still a lot to be done.