What do we celebrate on March 8?

Imagine that just because you were a woman, you couldn’t study or work, that your only choice was to be at home. For many years it was like that. On March 8, we remember the fight for equal opportunities between women and men so that girls have a better future.

Today, women make their decisions and perform any activity. However, this date reminds us that the battle for equality is constant and that there are still many challenges to overcome, such as gender violence.

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Why March 8?

This day was chosen by the World Organization of the United Nations (UN). In 1977, it officially declared International Women’s Day to commemorate the history of women’s rights movements.

In 1979, the UN approved the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). All the countries that are part of the organization promised to take action to promote gender equality.

On March 8, the fight for women's rights was commemorated. Photo: Pixabay
On March 8, the fight for women’s rights was commemorated.

Photo: Pixabay

And in Mexico?

The struggle has been long, but women have made their way in school and at work in our country, showing that they have the same capacity as men. More than half of the female population belongs to the labor sector, and 39% have management positions in the social, private, or public sectors. They own a third of the small businesses in Mexico.

Even though they gain more space in sectors that were previously only considered for men little by little, things have not changed much when women get home. There is still inequality in the time that women dedicate to housework since, according to the National Institute of Geography and Statistics (Inegi), they spend 13.4 hours a week on these tasks.

In addition, violence against the female population continues. From January to May 2021, more than 106,000 cases of family violence were reported, while 13,631 women fled home with their children due to domestic violence, according to the National Public Security System (SNSP).

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More and more women are in management positions. Photo: Pixabay

Fight from home

This space is very important to promote equality between girls and boys without gender roles influencing their upbringing. The family tends to reinforce the difference between genders since the little girls are assigned tasks related to taking care of the house and others. At the same time, the boys are involved in activities that foster competition, which explains the Gender role and family functioning.

Marisol Pérez Ramos, a researcher at the Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAM), recommends not limiting girls in their activities and tastes or limiting them to household chores in which all family members must participate.

“These types of limitations tell you about gender violence and the fact that girls are the ones who serve the food or do the chores. Nor should we tell them always to be nice or kind because it is a way of conditioning their behavior.”

Teach your daughters that they can practice any sport. Photo: Pixabay
Teach your daughters that they can practice any sport. Photo: Pixabay

She also advises not to compare daughters with boys, as this limits them and reproduces gender stereotypes and expectations of how they should act like women.

The fight for equality is every day; teach your little girl that she can achieve anything she sets her mind to and can make her decisions.

Translated by: Ligia M. Oliver Manrique de Lara

Spanish version