Her hands were soft, beautiful, and small. Behind such description, her hands suffered. The evening arrived and she is still with her hands working. A part of her body that worked a lot yet seemed like her whole body was crushed. It was the 10th hour that she was working. It was the 10th hour of leaving her children elsewhere. She thought it was worth it but it never was. Until then, her story became the story of womankind.
It was on the 8th of March 1857 when women shouted for their rights saying, “We want bread and roses too.” This began the foundation of what women are today and their recognized role in the society.
Looking back from the date, March 8 marked another milestone of the 21st century recognizing women and their importance. It is in this day that women around the world marched as one to celebrate the International Women’s Day.
OF WOMEN’S RETROSPECT.
As described by Joyce Stevens basing on history, women by then were born in a society with great crisis and turbulence. It was the midst of sex discrimination. They were working but was paid with a depressing salary. Because of this, March 8, 1857 in New York City stood groups of women workers seeking for an improved condition in terms of working hours and salaries.
Because of the unimportance shown to women, also in 1903, women of the United States were campaigning to set up Women’s Trade Union League. Its aim is to promote political and economic welfare among women.
Fifty-one years later in March 8, 1908, in recognition to the 1857 march, women then again stood for their write to vote. This was throughout America, Britain, Europe, and even Australia. While anybody else were yet to ignore their demand to their rights, Clara Zetkin, a German socialist together with Alexandra Kollontai fought beside them proposing March 8 to be recognized as International Women’s Day.
In 1908, the last Sunday of February recorded the first International Women’s Day happened in the United States.
WOMEN MARCHING IN PHILIPPINE STREETS
In the Philippines, despite the unfortunates experienced by women all around the globe, Filipinas of the past proven the importance of women in society. Involvement of women in Philippine society is not new at all, even before they were a part of it.
Women like Gabriella Silang, Melchora Aquino, Corazon Aquino, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and many were well known as they made a contribution to Philippines during their times.
Even if women already found a place in politics, men were dominant in such. However, active women keep in grasp their rights against any gender-biased issues like preferring men in the role of politics, underestimation of women strength in military, and more.
Different laws are now noted in the Philippines concerning women’s welfare. The Republic Act 9262 or known as Anti Violence against Women and Their Children Act of 2004 was established. According to Atty. Rainer Mamañgun, VAWC is a law passed in the Philippines for the protection of women and children from violence. This law establishes the parameters and guidelines, in keeping with the fundamental freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution and the Provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international human rights instruments of which the Philippines is a party. This was stated in the Section 2 of R.A. 9262. This act covers sexual violence, psychological violence, and economic abuse on women and children.
Now, women keep on their feet on race without chained by discrimination. The establishment of laws, counting women in politics, respecting their capabilities to lead signifies that women are now given importance in the society.
Since to the first fight on women’s rights marching on March 8, 1857 and the events that happened after in sequence to women issues shows that womankind went through a long way defining who they were.
It became the root which grew the value and importance given to women of this generation and the generations to come.//Denden Aliman Pagatpatan