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International Women's Day

Since 1977, the International Women's Day, promoted by the United Nations, is celebrated every year almost everywhere. In Italy, the official denomination "Giornata Internazionale delle Donne" is commonly replaced by "Festa della Donna", which could be translated as "Woman's Celebration" more than "Woman's Holiday", because this day isn't a non-working day.

The same word "festa" applies for the International Workers' Day, which is called "Festa dei Lavoratori" or "Workers' Holiday", as it's a non-working day.

Recently, there are more and more people expressing their despise for the word "Festa" associated with the Women's rights day, even if the syntagma "Festa della Donna" is still used by most people and even written in many agendas - like the one I have - and calendars.

As for me, I agree and disagree at the same time with the refusal of this word.

On one hand, the term "festa" or "celebration" could make one think at Women's Day as a sort of light event that can be, and indeed is exploited for commercial purposes, just like Christmas or Saint Valentine's Day; on the other hand, I miss the time when the naïve little child I was thought that 8th March was a day of celebration and joy for all the women in the world, from baby girls to old ladies. This time didn't last too long, for I was just seven when I discovered how horrible could be a woman's life, as I learnt about little baby girls killed in India just for being girls. Female infanticide and, some years later, sexual abuse, prostitution and other horrible things, made me realize how this world wasn't women-friendly at all.

Nevertheless, I wish 8th March could really be a Women's Celebration Day and I think we should spend this day both by protesting against women's persecution in too many countries in the world and by celebrating all the achievements women have conquered in other countries.

Indeed, we can do both and be aware that struggles has lead to celebration, and celebration remembers old successful struggles and also the need to defend women's rights nowadays everywhere, even in countries like Italy or France, where many essential rights are achieved.

We always have to be careful and watchful about our rights, because machism and religious obscurantism are not completely defeated yet: education of children, girls and boys, is essential for sowing the seeds of gender equality in tomorrow's society.

Above: bunches of mimosa flowers in Paris, five weeks ago, at the beginning of February, like I was in my hometown, in the very South of Italy. Where did they come from? I hope they came from Provence.

Mimosa flowers symbolize the Women's Day in Italy because this flower is simple, cheap and it recalls female unity and solidarity.

Above: Women's Day nice decoration in a lovely bookshop and vegan-friendly coffee shop in Paris.

Below: a bit of the current page of my diary, followed by a strip from the website "Bastardi dentro" ("Bastards inside"), putting away its usual jokes and taking Women's Day seriously, as everybody should.

Translation by me:

"8th March is here! How are you going to celebrate International Women's Day?".

"I don't celebrate it!".


"Because there still are too many Nations where women don't even have such basics rights as education and freedom...".

Indeed, since the come-back of the Talibans, Afghani women are deprived of their rights; and don't forget that Iranian women (and also men of good-will) are still persecuted, jailed, tortured and killed by the Mullahs' regime.

I know two Iranian students, living and working in a restaurant in Paris: these clever and nice girls enjoy here the freedom they would deserve to have in their country too, and I do hope the day when Iran will be a free Nation again will come soon.

Below: Iranian Women's slogan and Vitruvian Woman, artwork by me, plus a good quote I have found this morning, as I've unwrapped a coffee Bacio.

The well-known Leonardo's masterpiece inspiring my feminist doodle.

(C) Vera da Pozzo, Italy is mine... and it owes me a living

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