When I was growing up 8th of March was a very special day. In my birth country of Bulgaria it is still celebrated not only as International Women’s Day but also as Mother’s Day. It was a date I - as a child - was always reminded of. It was about respecting women in your life and a day of appreciation for your mother.
When I moved to the UK - 8th of March was still always at the back of my mind. I would always call my mum and send her Mother’s Day gifts when I could. 8th of March in my mind was still Mother’s Day more that International Women’s Day. At that point I don’t remember people doing much about it over here. I have even had conversations about it with individuals – both men and women, who had no idea it was a thing or had a vague idea but did not think of it as anything special.
This was in the early 2000s – a time when passion about International Women’s Day was gone in many countries. In reality International Women’s Day has been a thing for over a century. It was created as a result of various public demonstrations demanding equality for women as well as better pay, better working conditions and the right to vote. It is refreshing to see a true revival of excitement over 8 March in the past few years. When I was growing up it was, at least in Bulgaria, about celebration of the ‘gentle’ sex - while now we have entered a new era. The era of the fierce strong female. She was always there but now has the platform to be heard.
And yet - over 100 years after the original demonstrations we are still demanding pretty much the same rights – equality, better pay and better working conditions. But thankfully we can now vote. And we can vote not only within political context but also through our choices - every day. And one of these choices is what we wear. I know – I have said it before. Buying something cheap from a high street retailer means someone else has to pay the price.
This time it is a little different. Today is March 8. I have seen a lot of strong points all over social media today about equality, girl power and the overall strength that women possess. And it made me wonder whether we should all ask ourselves: 'What piece of clothing did I purchase last?' -
Did it reflect these powerful values and did it show support to women, who do work in bad unsafe conditions; did it pay well the women, who made it and did it help towards their struggle for equality?
We can look at March 8 from many angles. History shows that we - as women, are capable of driving great change when supporting each other. In whichever way we can.
As always – keep sailing forward – ladies!