International Women’s Day

1st national seminar about gender, sexual harassment and the right to diversity

International Women’s Day, also known as 8M, was marked all over the world. Here in Colombia we participated in several activities to mark this day and the fight for women’s rights in the world.

Salka participated in the seminar at Universidad del Valle all week. It was a week full of many interesting topics relevant to our work with sexual education in the schools. Very interesting to hear how different areas of gender studies support each other to keep fighting for women’s rights.

It was a great way to prepare for the 8M and the demonstration in Cali. If you are interested in reading more about the seminar, you can have at look at the seminar’s homepage.

8M in Cali

The day started out at the seminar, where both Salka and Camila participated in the events. Thursday’s programme included an amazing presentation about female characters in Brasilian litterature by a Brasilien feminist guest professor.

In the afternoon Salka met with the rest of the participants in the demonstration at one of the main stations in Cali. It was the biggest demonstration on 8th of March that has ever taken place in Cali. A lot of the girls who also participated in the Ella meeting in December were there. The march moved up towards one of Cali’s marginalized neighbourhoods, Siloé, where the women from that area joined the march. It was very beautiful, and even though it was not at all as big as the demonstrations in Spain or Argentina, it was amazing to see the support and the awareness about all the fights that are to continue in Colombia and the world.

It is especially important to mark the women’s day in a country where child abuse, rape, teen pregnancies etc. are very common. 8M is a day to mark these fights and remind ourselves that we have to keep fighting, but the work is to be done all year around.

8M in Popayán

The typical way of “celebrating”  8th of March in Colombia is by men giving baloons, chocolate, flowers and taking the women out to eat. Fortunately, this year it was different in Popayán. The feminist network caracolas organized several events to mark the international women’s strike #8M. Of course, Nori, our new teacher in Popayán, participated in the events during the day.

The activities started at 10 am in the university with and event called “8 women, 8 perspectives, 8 voices”. The event presented a wide spectre of what women are: afro, indiginous, academics, trans, gay, working etc. The idea was to discuss and reflect on the difference in salary, terriory problems, working rights, race resistance, women in social science, resistance in the gay and trans community, but also spirituality and balance.

The auditorium was full during the whole event, a lot of women was wearing purple (which has been an international initiative to mark 8M) and the mayority of the participants were women.

At 2 pm an event started in the central park of Popayán. It was a more artistic and cultural event, but still focusing on the women. There was a colective dance, music, a monologue and speeches from local female community leaders.

The activities in the park brought a bigger crowd, and people walking by the park was interested after seeing all the people gathered there. It was especially interesting the part about “Statements from femicide survivors and their families, UN Women”.

An eventful week

As you can see it has been an eventful week, and we are all happy to have been in the different 8M events. We now go back to our work at the local schools in Cali and Popayán. Camila and Salka will be at 20 de Julio and Nori will finish up the last couple of groups at the school Gabriela Mistral.

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