Back in the Soviet Union, March 8 was a Holiday. We celebrated International Woman’s Day. The majority of people, including me, were happy to have a day off from work without even thinking what this day was all about. In a country where women legally had the same rights as men, there were very few women representatives in the Government, practically no women were heads of big companies or educational and cultural institutions. So, women got their flowers, chocolate and were happy. Men ruled at work, at home and in government.
Today I am in the United States. For 30 years in this country I was ignoring March 8th, sometimes even forgetting it, sometimes being reminded about the Holiday by old friends and family. This year is different. The election campaign for the President of the United States turned everything upside-down. Listening to the rhetoric of Republican candidates, I cannot help but feel the necessity to fight for women’s rights, the necessity to remind everybody that we, the women, will not go back to times of being told what, when and how. I feel the necessity of March 8th.
So, this year I want to celebrate this Day, to remind everybody and especially women that we will stand for our rights, we will not ignore the slogans and rhetoric of this campaign, we will not be taken back to the 50’s of the last century.