International Women’s Day is an important day here in Easter Europe, and it is even a public holiday in the former Soviet Union. It is however celebrated somewhat differently from in for example Sweden. Instead of dedicating the day to discussing issues related to women, gender roles, gender discrimination, etc, it is more of a day of celebrating the female. It is kind of like mother’s day in many countries, but for all women. Women are celebrated, given flowers, and taken out for dinner by their lovers and male relatives. I am currently in Rumania and here, my colleague told me, it is also common that women have girls’ night out on March 8. Almost Moldovan Lars wrote on his blog that he had asked Moldovans why there in Moldova is not more debate around women’s issues on the International Women’s Day, and people looked at him as if he was crazy. Why would anyone want to ruin such a nice day with such a depressing topic??
I got a flower yesterday in the lunch cantina
An attractive topic or not, women are still, in 2010, depressingly discriminated around the world. And even though we have achieved a lot in many Western countries (Sweden not the least), there are still embarrassing inequalities and boys and girls are still coming into this world with different opportunities, regardless of personalities, talent, and interests. Not to mention the injustices in other parts of the world. I have to say that even the media reporting yesterday (was watching both BBC and CNN) was a quite lame. This widespread, systematic discrimination was just a parenthesis in the news and I maintain what I have written earlier: as long as Human Rights are only meant for 50% of the world’s population, and the other 50% are given something called Women’s Rights, conditioned on cultural and religious inheritance (which needs to be respected by any P.C. Minister of Foreign Affairs or international civil servant), the rights of this other 50% will always be a marginalized issue. It is sometimes difficult to believe that we are not a minority. But we are not – we are 50% of the world! So I continue to strive for true gender equality, though I often think of how grateful I am for the fact that I was born in a country like Sweden and am doing my career now and not 40 years ago. I was watching Mad Men yesterday and it is a bit of a reality check. Having had to live in different circumstances would for me with my personality have been completely insufferable. I feel so with all the women around the world who are trapped in circumstances that prevent them from being themselves. I hope that in a distant future, this differentiation between genders will be a parenthesis.
Unfortunately, clips from Mad Men cannot be embedded from YouTube, but here are two funny links: