Text written by Greta Colleoni, Ilaria Guido, Elisa Rebucini of the Turoldo Institute of Zogno as part of the project La Voce “Giovane” delle Valli.
But why exactly March 8?
“Give women adequate opportunities and they will be capable of anything”, said Oscar Wilde. In 1910, during the International Conference of Socialist Women held in Copenhagen, a world day was established to reclaim i women’s rights. This date was chosen to celebrate both those women and the distant past March 8, 1917 demonstrated for the end of the war, both the countless victims who died in thefire of 1908 in the famous “Cotton” factory in New York. In Italy this commemoration was celebrated for years on March 12, until, in 1944, the UDI group (Unione Donne Italiane) decided to move the date a few days earlier.
Women in power in Italy
Last week the primaries of the PD decreed the victory of Elly Schlein. For the first time a woman is at the helm of the party born in 2007, just when, for the first time, a woman, Giorgia Meloni, is the Prime Minister of our republic. There seems to be news to celebrate regardless of one’s political opinions, a few days after Women’s Day.
Feminist activism does road even today
Emma Watson, the young actress who starred in “Harry Potter”, “Beauty and the Beast” and “Little Women”, and UN women ambassador, offers a concrete testimony of feminism. On September 21, 2014, Watson gave a speech in New York, in front of the UN assembly, which went viral in all parts of the world and which made the young woman a point of reference for all of us.
In the conference, Emma Watson spoke about discrimination he had suffered and which she had witnessed throughout her life, and reflected on men’s hatred of the fight for women’s rights. Referring to the conference previously held by Hillary Clinton, Emma Watson was addressing the male gender by pronouncing these words: “What struck me the most was that only 30% of his audience was male. How can we effect change in the world, if only half of it is invited (when spoken about) or feels welcomed to join the conversation?”.
He adds that gender equality does not only concern females, but that the other gender is also the victim of stereotypes, for example: if a man is sensitive, he is said to lose his virility; a father’s role as parent is considered less important than that of a mother… In this regard, Watson launches her solidarity campaign HeforShe with the aim of achieving equality and involving as many boys and men as possible. The idea behind it is that the economic, social and political discrimination affect everyone in some way. Despite numerous criticisms, more than 2 million people have joined the campaign, most of them men.
The mimosa, the iconic symbol of Women’s Day.
The particular yellow flowers that many women have been getting on the eighth day of March for years are meant to remember the social, political and economic achievements achieved by the female sex in history. There are many reasons why this flower is associated with this event. In fact, in addition to blossoming in the month of March, the mimosa, for the American Indians symbol of strength and femininity, was chosen as a commemorative flower to remember the numerous victims, especially women, who lost their lives in the tragic fire that took place in 1908 in a cotton factory in New York. Legend has it that a mimosa tree rose right next to the factory.
In Italy instead this flower became a symbol of women in 1946, when the UDI (Italian Women’s Union) chose it both for its easy availability and for the meaning of which this flower was the bearer.
The tradition of giving mimosa on March 8 persists even today and it is important that it is preserved in the future. This is to remember the struggle that affected many women in the past and what they have managed to achieve. Furthermore, the gift of the mimosa must instill confidence and strength in future women, so that they do not give up and continue to fight for the achievement of equal rights and for a world in which women and men have equal opportunities and equal say.
Yes, it is correct to have a day in which, between mimosas and demonstrations, one has the legitimate possibility of remembering the voice of women in the world. A voice that comes from the past has too often been muffled even in contemporary society, from the political to the financial environment. Therefore, do not underestimate the feminine strength, because it can be more tenacious than it seems to you!