Thursday, March 08, 2007

International Women's Day: The Struggle Goes On

Riyadh - A Saudi woman who was kidnapped at knifepoint, gang-raped and then beaten by her brother has been sentenced to 90 lashes — for meeting a man who was not a relative.

Tehran - Iranian police clashed on Thursday with scores of rights activists who gathered in front of parliament to celebrate International Women's Day. All but three of 33 women arrested in Tehran earlier this week were freed, with instructions that were not allowed to participate in International Women's Day protests today.

Geneva - A persistent gap in status, job security, wages and education between women and men is contributing to the "feminization of working poverty", according to a new report by the International Labour Office.

Berlin - A 25-year-old waitress who turned down a job providing "sexual services'' at a brothel in Berlin faces possible cuts to her unemployment benefits.

Bangalore - A fact-finding team investigating the death of a garment factory worker has thrown up the seamier side of the industry, which has seen a large economic boom in the recent years.

And this more or less brings us back to where it began, 150 years ago today, when garment workers in New York marched for a ten hour day and equal rights for women. Fifty-one years later, on March 8, the women of New York's needle trades marched again, to honour their forebears, and to demand the vote and an end to sweatshops and child labor.

In 1910, German socialist Clara Zetkin proposed that March 8 be proclaimed International Women's Day. In Russia, in 1917, with the fall of the czar, women were granted the right to vote, on March 8. The rest is history.

Labourstart has a good international news round-up here.


Blogger Ryan said...

Although it panders to my own predjudices about the nature of modern Europe, I regret to inform you that the Telegraph report about the brothel-beholden Berliner appears to be in error.

Meanwhile, today Sheila Copps was on the radio declaring her concern for the fact that Canada was 47th among all countries in parliamentary representation of women. Her key claim was that if Canada was 47th in anything, that was a cause for concern.

Rwanda was number one.

I'm thinking that aspiring to Rwandan performance on any metric is not an inspiring argument.

Thanks for taking a shot at highlighting some authentic struggles for equality.

9:52 PM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

Thanks, Ryan.
George Orwell wrote that "Some things are true, even if the Daily Telegraph says they are true," but it's good to be reminded that some things are not, no matter what the Telegraph says.
Nice to learn the story was bogus.


10:29 PM  
Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said...

Apropo Clara Zetkin: have you seen this one:


7:57 AM  

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