March for Women’s Rights in Sofia
“Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” – Maya Angelou
In 2016 many women had to defend themselves and their rights. While millions were protesting offline, others were outraged and expressed solidarity with the protesters online. The world was marked by hashtags. In January 2016 alone, there were four serious crimes against women in Bulgaria, two of which with a lethal end – men killed their ex-wives. #феминизъмщеима was the hashtag for expressing solidarity with the pain and rage of the BFW team for these women. We were following the hashtag #solidaritywithpolishwomen to be up-to-date with the streets of Poland and their fight against the total ban of abortion, including the cases of rape and incest. In Argentina, a sixteen-year-old girl died from the shock, not the wounds, caused by a brutal gang rape. It turned out that in Argentina, every 30 hours a woman is murdered by her husband or an acquaintance. We had the chance to be present and support the huge protests across South America through the hashtag #niunamenos.
On the 8th March in the U.S., there will be a national strike. A strike against a president who brags on the way he “grabs” women without asking for permission; who wants to ban abortion; who already infringes the basic human rights of many people. Million women will not go to work, or if they do, they will leave earlier, will not do errands, but will also not stay at home. They will stand up against a deeply patriarchic system, the product of which is the current American president. On the 8th of March we can express our solidarity with the women in America and around the world with the hashtag #adaywithoutawoman. But not only so.
On the 8th of March it is important to remember that women in Bulgaria have had the right to vote, to study in the university and to work for less than a century. And, as every right, these rights can be taken away, because in our country there are also sexist politicians – products of a patriarchic system. It is important to talk about the fact that women have 14% lower wages and 40% lower pensions compared to men. It is important to stand against the fear we face when walking alone at night. It is important for us to have more than 19% women MPs, so that we have a just representation of the specific interests of women as all laws affect us. It is important to us to be esteemed by our qualities and skills, not by our looks. It is important to raise the question why most poor people in the world, and in our country, are women? But what is most important is to prove that we exist and that we fight to improve our surroundings before it is too late and we are immune to the issues of human rights.
On the 8th of March the march is about us, about the women who want a more just and joyful world. About us, who want to be free, respected, and given love, but not the one that hurts; about us who want to be ourselves. We do not want to be victims, we do not want lower wages and pensions, we do not want to be afraid neither in day nor in night. We want politicians who do not use sexist speech. We want ruling parties who are committed to work for and defend human rights and human dignity. We want laws and institutions, which protect us. We want the most natural thing for the 21st century – equality.
This march has no hashtag as it has two vital components – a location and you who want to live a better life. Come join us on the 8th at 17:00 on Vitosha Boulevard to defend together the rights of all women.
We will be there.
Follow the event on Facebook for more info.