Before making any unwise decision, statement, advertisement or congratulation adding to the devaluation and the banalization of 8th March, check your knowledge by answering YES or NO to the following statements:
- 8th of March is the day of mothers and those who will become one.
- 8th of March is the day when the feminist fight for women’s rights such as the right to vote, the right to property, protection against violence, etc, is celebrated
- 8th of March is the day when the Valentine’s Day leftover flowers, cosmetics and candy are bought for women.
- 8th of March is the day marking the promotion of equality between men and women in public and private life.
- 8th of March is like a black Friday just for women.
- 8th of March is a date shared by many movements and protests for the rights of workers.
- 8th of March is the day when women do not work at home and we take them out for a dinner.
- 8th of March is the day women mark with the aim of raising the visibility of violations of their human rights that continue to happen every day.
- 8th of March is the day when men do the housework instead of women.
- 8th of March is the International Women’s Day.
If you answered YES to statements 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10, then congratulations! If you haven’t already, please informe yourself about the ways in which you can work on raising awareness, spreading feminist ideas, promoting women’s human rights and gender equality.
If you answered YES to statements 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9, please look up the term International Women’s Day on the Internet, read at least the article on Wikipedia and return to the rest of this text.
Now that you have gained more information on the International Women’s Day, we will ask you to, at least on the 8th of March, if not in your further action, remember the following 10 rules:
- Do not call women “ladies,” “nice ladies,” “members of a prettier/gentler/weaker sex,” “mothers,” “future mothers,” “somebody’s wives, sisters and daughters”.
- Do not buy gifts such as flowers, cosmetics or sweets because they don’t erase 364 days of inequality, misogyny and sexism.
- Do not advertise products that maintain a patriarchal image of an ideal woman as something that is necessary for women and is easily accessible to them on “their day”.
- Instead of assuming what women want, try asking them. And listen, of course.
- 8th of March is not just a day of equality of women in their home, but in the workplace and in political and public life, so treat it that way.
- Do the housework on the other 364 days a year, preferably in agreement with the woman whose chores you thought to “take over” on the 8th of March.
- Women are not just mothers, do not perceive women in your surroundings solely in regards to this part of their life.
- Instead of organizing sales and discounts for the 8th of March 8, make sure that the prices for women’s products are always as low as the prices for men’s products. Do not charge sanitary products as if they were made of gold. Sanitary pads and tampons are not luxury and women actually need them.
- Do not organize 8th of March trips for women from your work collective, instead organize the work conditions so that women and men equally participate in caring for children and family, and have the opportunity to achieve work-life balance.
- Sexism, stereotypes and misogyny are never funny, especially not on the 8th of March greeting cards.
Bonus proposal for politicians:
Instead of empty greeting and unnecessary praising of the qualities possessed by more than 50% of society, mark the 8th of March by proposing laws, policies, acts and mechanisms to achieve real equality and respect for women’s human rights. If you do not know how to do so, contact the nearest civil society organizations.
In the case of Sarajevo Canton, instead of a non-working day for some workers in some institutions, a much better initiative would be the proposal to introduce a mandatory quota of 50% of women in the government and supervisory bodies of public companies. Or expressing the support to the preparation of the Operational Plan of the Canton for the implementation of the Gender Action Plan of BiH, which was already proposed by one of the female representatives in the Cantonal Assembly.