Mercoledì, 24 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Talks, art and celebrations for International Women's Day

English
© ANSA

By Kate Carlisle
Rome, March 7 - Whether the theme is 'A promise is
a promise: Time for action to end violence against women' as
defined by the UN for 2013, or if it is 'The Gender Agenda:
Gaining Momentum" chosen by the website
internationalwomensday.com, the point is that March 8 is the day
for women around the world to celebrate a day dedicated to them.
International Women's Day has been celebrated throughout
the world in various countries since the early 1900s after a
declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first
National Woman's Day (NWD) was observed across the United States
on 28 February, 1909.
That same year 30,000 seamstresses from the New York's East
Side, almost all of them women and many of them Italians or
Jews, began a 13-week strike for better pay and conditions,
fewer hours and a ban on non-union labour by marching together
on the frozen streets of New York City.
Their slogan - 'We'd rather starve quick than starve slow,'
and relentless determination and resistance inspired leading
German socialist Clara Zetkin to propose the Second
International Conference of Socialist Women in Copenhagen in
1910 where the International Women's Day (IWD) was proclaimed.
IWD became an worldwide event to commemorate the New York
strike and focus attention on the struggles of working class
women.
It was officially recognized in Italy in 1922 and came into
full force with the fall of Fascism.
The Women's Union that was formed by women from the
historic Communist Party, Socialist Party, the Partito d'Azione,
the Christian Left and Democratic Labour party used the day as a
megaphone for their equal-rights platform and later to petition
for the right to divorce, contraception and abortion.
Veering from its emancipation and resistance-based origins,
Women's Day in Italy today is celebrated with flowers and
usually a girls-only, rambunctious night on the town.
But political and public figures also take the yearly
occasion to comment on developments in women's rights and
opportunities.
Since 2004, an increasing number of women have graduated
from university medical faculties, said the Italian Medical
Association ASSOMED, but still face 'systemic structural
discrimination' in hospital wards and health organizations and
are rarely found in the higher-paying positions.
In fact, Italy's national statistics agency Istat said in
January that Italian women were particularly hard hit in the job
market, with only 49.9% employed.
Italian European Parliament member Deborah Serracchiani
said at a university conference on Women and the Labour Market
that "a truly advanced development model that does not fully
appreciate the role of women is inconceivable".
'As a rule, women's pay is simply lower than that of
men's,' Welfare Minister Elsa Fornero said at a conference in
2012.
For 2013, Women's Day in Italy will focus on the
elimination of violence against women. Throughout the day
events, talks and workshops will meet under the banner
'Together...to Speak about Violence against Women'
"Insieme...per parlare della violenza sulle donne).
The exteriors of the offices of state broadcaster Rai in
Milan, Rome, Turin and Naples will be illuminated with pink
lighting, commemorating the 124 women who were "ferociously
killed" in 2012 at the hands of their husbands or ex-partners.

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