Perhaps you've stumbled across it today already? "Hey, 20% discount on chocolate!", "Beauty products now in a price reduced pack" and many other great ways to celebrate our femininity – say what? How shitlessly unworthy can International Women's Day actually be commercialized, we're asking ourselves?
What emerged as an initiative of socialist organizations in the struggle for equal rights, the right to vote for women and in the sense of the emancipation of female workers, became a mixture of Mother's Day and Valentine's Day – just as commercialized and therefore more or less meaningless. Much worse: it does the opposite. International Women's Day becomes a symbolic day to honor women, which is like a shell-less flattery and wearily smiles at the struggle for real equality. As a result, clichés are used on this particular day, which put women again in a drawer in which we never belonged.
This doesn't only make us sad, but also angry. As most people know, gender marketing is already a thorn in our side. Therefore we're looking at today's advertising that shines bright in all shades of pink, we feel a lump in our throats. Women's Day is not a publicity stunt, it is actually not even an occasion to celebrate. We have always been aware of this and are certainly even more so after a year of Corona. Because the last year in particular showed how easy it is as a woman to slip into the position of being responsible for care work.
So today exists because gender equality is a long way from being achieved. International Women's Day is a reminder of what has gone wrong and unfortunately that is a bottomless pit.
So today we use the absurdity of the commercialization and just want to point out – how much still needs to be done. Because even today, 110 years after the first women's fight day, the proportion of women on the executive boards of German companies is just 14%. That reminds me of a campaign for International Women's Day 2019 by the Rewe Group. There were four extra pages of special offers such as bouquets of flowers at a special price or a 20% discount on chocolates. All of this with the slogan "Nice to have you here". Awww, thanks Rewe! Yes, who are we actually thanking? That's right, a 100% male board. Too bad!
But things can go worse.
Trigger warning: Sexual violence. Around 35% of all women in Europe have experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15 (!). One can assume a significantly higher number of unreported cases if we look at testimonies surrounding us, especially if we include sexual assault and harassment in everyday life.
"What would you do if there weren't any men in 24 hours?" – a question that showed a depressing response on social networks a few months ago. Because the tenor was simply: Just carefree strolling around in the park at night.
But that's (obvs) not enough. That a woman's body must be fought for as her property is also shown by the fact that 46% of the abortions carried out worldwide had to be carried out under questionable and health-endangering conditions due to a lack of access and education.
Problems, inequality, injustice wherever you look and that actually affects 49% of the world's population. Side fact: why "only" 49%? Because being a woman in so many countries (especially in countries with a high population density) is such a bad prospect that pregnancies in which the female gender of the fetus is known will be terminated significantly more often. The mood to celebrate can clearly pass if you realize all of this again.
Therefore, in our eyes, today should rather serve as a survey. It's a day to raise awareness – that women around the world are being disadvantaged in many different ways. Attention can be drawn to this in all colors and tones of the world, gladly also on the other 364 days of the year – the main thing is that it also reaches everyone in our society.
Perhaps, with all the negative lines, this day also has something very positive: We are once again aware of how much has been achieved in the last 110 years and how much we could actually achieve if we didn't always have to sail against the wind. Today and every other day. So the fight is worth it more than ever – for women, for men, for human kind, for children. Together. But not in the form of chocolates!