March 8th is #internationalwomensday – for over 100 years now, women around the world have commemorated the day by taking to the streets to demonstrate for gender equality and human rights. It began with the demand for more political participation and the right to vote for women. Although people have been protesting against discrimination, unequal pay, sexual harassment and violence on this day for over a hundred years now, women are still structurally at a disadvantage in the workplace and in daily life.
While Trump blasts out one chauvinist sound bite after the next, Russia draws up legislation that would reduce domestic violence to a petty offence, and a Polish populist triggers outrage, and justifiably so, for his claim that women are less intelligent than men. Those are just three of the reasons why it remains important to demonstrate on March 8th.
Using the #adaywithoutawomen hashtag as a rallying cry, activists in the US called for a strike: what consequences would it have for society if women were to strike for an entire day? A new opposition movement has formed against the Trump government, one in which women play a central role (for example, the “pussy hats”). But it isn’t just in the United States that women are declaring their solidarity and taking to the streets for equal rights. In Hamburg people get together for the "Sisters' March" and in Berlin you have the "Internationaler Frauen*kampftag" (International Women’s Day of Struggle).
This is exactly why the re:publica places such a high value on diversity. This includes the gender balance onstage, but also the participation of the various international guests and age groups. The last re:publica featured 46% female speakers and 49% female attendance. This is the benchmark for the #rp17, and we’re confident that we will get even closer to the targeted 50-50 ratio this year.
Here’s wishing you a wonderful #internationalwomensday!