International Women's Day Marked by Newfound Activism

Women need good male allies

The theme of Thursday's International Women's Day 2018 is #PressForProgress, but that's not the only message that activist women have sent. She is one of the national organizers of the International Women's Strike.

At midnight in Madrid, protesters went to the central square and banged pots and pans. The last Sunday on the Gregorian calendar fell on 8 March. Organizers published a manifesto reading, "Today we call for a society free of sexist oppression, exploitation and violence".

Work was being halted as part of a 24-hour strike organised by the 8 March Commission and backed by 10 unions and some of Spain's top women politicians.

"We do not accept worse working conditions or being paid less than man for the same work", it stated.

But just what is International Women's Day? Women have also been pressuring the government to tackle the issue of domestic violence, Al Jazeera reported previous year.

According to an El Pais poll, 82 percent of Spaniards say there are sufficient reasons for a women's strike, but the ruling center-right party, the Partido Popular (PP), said the strike was "for feminist elites and not real women with everyday problems".

And women in Spain will walkout from their jobs Thursday as part of a "feminist strike" to highlight the social and economic disparities between men and women, including huge differences in pay. Women on strike also set up road blocks in Spain.

In 1917, females in Russian Federation against the background of the war elected to strike and protest on the last Sunday in February for "Bread and Peace".

In Seoul, hundreds of women and men held placards bearing the hashtag #MeToo, in a sign that the country had been swept up by the global movement against sexual harassment and assault.

In Milan, thousands of students marched to protest Italian doctors' refusal to perform abortions, according to The New York Times.

In Rome, actress Asia Agento, one of the many women who accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, reportedly participated in a march as well.

The day was officially recognized by the United Nations in 1975 and has since been embraced by many countries around the world as a way to both honor the women's rights movement and call attention to the current inequalities that women face throughout the world.

In Afghanistan, hundreds of women, who would have been afraid to leave their homes during Taliban rule, gathered in the capital, Kabul, to remind their leaders that plenty of work remains to be done to give Afghan woman a voice, ensure their education and protect them from increasing violence.

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