Today is International Women’s Day.
My experiences with this day in the past seven years have been varied. In Ukraine, and all of the Former Soviet Union, the day is a public holiday to celebrate the fact that women do everything for their men and children in those countries. It is basically akin to Mother’s Day.
When I came back to Australia, I was surprised to notice how politically charged the day can be (in a good way of course!) with many many feminist undertones. (DUH I hear you say. But after experiencing three years worth of it in the FSU, you’d be surprised as well).
I tell you, most people who get behind IWD in Australia would cringe at the fact that in the FSU it means that women receive flowers, get waited on hand and foot and basically rejoice in their femininity rather than their feminism.
And then, when I was working in the Northern Territory, I was lucky enough to be involved in the 100 years of International Women’s Day celebrations. It provided me with a great insight to really understand how important the event is to both women and men in Australia. It was also wonderful to see more great Territory women being honoured, as they are year after year.
I’m not sure how the day will pan out in Timor-Leste. I’m guessing that most women here have no idea that today is International Women’s Day, and with the withdrawal of the United Nations late last year, there will be even less of an emphasis. I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled, and I’ll report back in the case that I’m completely mistaken.
On another note, I have tentatively started a new blog project in collaboration with a couple of other International Women – Corinne and Carly. We’re a little slow off the mark and it will always be a work in progress, but I don’t want to rest on my laurels forever.
Wandering Women is the new blog, and I hope that it will be a collection place for all the stories of many women who I meet from around the world, sharing their experiences of wandering. I can’t promise excitement, but bookmark it and visit occasionally ;)
How are you celebrating International Women’s Day?