Madrid: A flight manned by an all-women crew, musical shows composed and performed by feminist activists, awards and protests calling for gender equality are some of the events set to mark International Women’s Day on Friday across the world.
Female workers in France were entitled to down tools at 3.40 p.m., the time when it is estimated that they work for free owing to the gender pay gap, reports Efe news.
French President Emmanuel Macron is set to present an award named after the late former minister Simone Veil, who was known for fighting for women’s rights.
In Spain, both female and male workers can choose to strike for an hour or eight hours, according to different trade unions, and in Italy strikes called by the feminist association “Non una di menos” (Not one less) will affect the transport, health and education sectors.
Portugal, Greece and Belgium will see their first strikes organised by their respective feminist groups and trade unions.
Marches will take place across Europe, including in Russia, Belarus, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece.
Rallies were expected to highlight policies that go against gender equality and that are promoted or defended by governments, including those of Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro and Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines.
In Brazil, protests are set to take place in 25 cities, including Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo.
Besides calling for gender equality, participants are also expected to denounce the reform of the pension system under far-right President Bolsonaro as well as demand justice for Marielle Franco, an activist who was killed almost one year ago.
In the Philippines, a group of feminist activists named “Gabriela” has called a march against misogyny and government policies that promote violence, such as Duterte’s so-called war on drugs.
Some 8,000 women were expected to attend that march and other protests are slated to take place across the country.
In Bangkok, there will be a Fem Film Festival as well as a “Women in gastronomy” event featuring female chefs, including Cristina Bowerman.
In China, the National Grand Theatre will host a special Women’s Day concert, while in Uruguay the Montevideo Philharmonic Orchestra will perform music composed only by women under the direction of Spanish conductor, Isabel Cortes.
A half-day strike will take place in Uruguay, along with a march in the afternoon.
Other initiatives will take place in Africa, including a protest in Kenya and a presentation in Ghana by the National Corporate Gender Diversity Index to promote equality in business, while in Malawi the “She Is Equal” awards will be given out to recognise contributions by women to communities
Ethiopia, the only African country with a female President, will mark the day with a flight of its national airline, Ethiopian Airlines, manned by an entirely-female crew, from Addis Ababa to the Norwegian capital Oslo.
And in Lebanon, the Lebanese Forces party will present a bill to criminalise rape within marriage.