May 27, 2023

The Editor speaks: Women’s Day

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Colin Wilson

Last Friday (8) was International Women’s Day. It wasn’t a day full of fun and games. Neither was it a Day just full of words from leaders (male) saying how wonderful women are and all the wonderful things they have done.

These are just a few of the events that happened throughout the world last Friday:


Spanish women went on strike and staged an enormous protest, as women’s rights have become a hot topic in the run-up to a general election.

In France, the first Simone Veil prize was awarded to a Cameroonian activist who worked against forced marriages, Doumara Ngatansou, after she herself was married against her will at 15.

The Portuguese Cabinet observed a minute of silence in mourning of victims of domestic violence. Twelve women have died this year in domestic violence incidents, the highest number in 10 years.

Topless protesters in Germany tore down a metal barrier intended to keep women out of brothels in Hamburg, one of the nation’s most famous red light districts.

Pope Francis hailed women’s “irreplacable contribution” to fostering peace. “Women make the world beautiful, they protect it and keep it alive,” the Argentine Jesuit said. Women are not able to obtain priesthood in the Catholic Church, and as a result the highest levels of power.

Far-right activists in Kiev, Ukraine were detained after they tried to provoke activists protesting sexual violence.


Hundreds of women marched in New Delhi, India, demanding an end to domestic violence, sexual attacks and employment discrimination. Thousands of women are killed each year there, often when a groom or his family feel a bride’s dowry is inadequate.

In Jakarta, Indonesia, several hundred men and women carried placards calling for an end to discriminatory practices which end employments when women get pregnant.

In South Korea, women wore pointed hats and cloaks, marching against a “witch hunt” of feminists in deeply conservative society.

North America

First Lady Melania Trump saluted women from 10 countries on Wednesday evening, including human rights activists, police officers and an investigative journalist.

In Puerto Rico, hundreds of protesters in purple T-shirts demanded safer housing, as the US territory struggles to recover from Hurricane Maria. Some held up signs with the names of more than 20 women reportedly killed by their partners on the island last year.

South America

In one of the most dangerous countries to be a woman, El Salvador, three women jailed on charges of abortion had their sentences commuted. El Salvador has a total ban on abortion. Reproductive rights advocates said the move from the country’s supreme court was a hopeful sign.

Women in Argentina took to the streets after a bill that would have legalized abortion was rejected last year. They prepared for a large march from Congress to the country’s historic Plaza de Mayo square later in the day, during which they were set to protest against violence.

In Bolivia, women rallied in main cities, carrying giant underwear bearing messages such as, “underwear of an irresponsible and abusive father” and “underwear of a child molester.” Chilean women demanded access to free and safe abortions.

In Ecuador, President Lenin Moreno took the day to announce the creation of a bonus of about $300 per month for the children of victims of femicides.

The bonus will help an estimated 88 orphans.


Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who named one of the world’s few “gender-balanced” Cabinets last year, told a gathering that “women are the pillars of the nation and the least recognized for their sacrifices.”

The US Embassy in Niegeria hosted talks on sexual harassment, which included a founder of the recent #ArewaMeToo campaign among women in the country’s conservative, largely Muslim north.

In Niger, first lady Aissata Issoufou Mahamadou oversaw the awards in the Miss Intellect Niger contest.

Women in Kenya protested against gender-based violence in the nation’s capital.

“We haven’t gotten to a stage where women are comfortable to come out and say, ‘I was sexually abused,’” said protester Esther Passaris.


And here in the Cayman Islands:

At the Marriott – The Cayman Islands celebrated International Women’s Day on 8 March with an inspiring, thought-provoking event and bold call to action from internationally renowned educator, author and filmmaker Jackson Katz. Dr. Katz is known for his pioneering scholarship and activism on issues of gender, race and violence. His speech “Gender on the Agenda: Why equality between the sexes is a critical issue for women and men” addressed the IWD 2017 theme “#BeBoldForChange”, which is a call to action for both men and women to help forge a better working world – a more gender inclusive world.

Pink Fashion – Ladies were invited to celebrate International Women’s Day in style with fashion from the islands’ closets, viewed on the runway and available for sale. Best of all, the money goes to charity! The Pink Ladies organization held a fashion show and fundraiser on Saturday, March 9, pairing up with the Cayman Islands Humane Society to create a night of entertainment and designer clothes.

Walk in Her Shoes – The Cayman Islands Crisis Centre hosted its 4th Annual ‘A Walk In Her Shoes’ to raise funds and awareness to support the Centre’s mission to end domestic violence in the Cayman Islands.

The Cayman Islands Family Resource Centre honoured and is still honouring March as Women’s month – Honouring Women Month’s 2019 theme #BalanceForBetter is a call to action to drive gender balance throughout the world. This year’s focus is on recognising that everyone has an important role to play, and highlights the fact of entering an exciting period of history where the world now expects balance in the boardroom, government, workplace, and in all spheres of life which undoubtedly drives a better world. See

The events carry on until Saturday 23rd at the Purple Dragon Studio where women will learn the art of self defence.

So men, we had better watch out. Women know their rights and we had better not do any more wrongs!

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  1. John Evans says

    I was in Moscow for International Women’s Day in 1992 just after the Soviet era had come to an end and saw a totally different side of this holiday. Rather than some pumping political event it was a day when the men honoured all the women in their lives – grand-mothers, mothers, wives, daughters, fiances, girlfriends and so on. They bought their partners flowers (or more commonly a single flower), gave them presents and either took them out for a meal or cooked for them. Red Square was packed with couples walking round arm-in-arm, the woman holding her flower.

    At the time we had an unlicensed taxi (what the Americans sometimes refer to as a ‘Gypsy Cab’) on 24/7 call and despite what he was being paid the driver insisted on taking that day off because it was so important to him. We got in the spirit by clubbing together to give him a bonus (obviously in US$ because the rouble was just about worthless) for the day along with a bag of sweets and chocolate bars that came out of what was joking referred to as our ’emergency rations’ for his two little daughters.

    When the UN adopted the Day in 1975 it’s a pity they didn’t choose that family-orientated option rather than turning it into an excuse for political demonstrations and stunts.

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