07 March 2007

International Women's Day

I'm sure that in a few days there will be a zillion posts on various blogs about International Women's Day. And in many ways it's an excellent holiday. I particularly like the International Women's Day website, especially their links to a huge number of events going on with IWD.

But...

IWD isn't just about empowering women. In the countries that really celebrate this holiday (almost all are post-communist countries), it's more like Mother's Day or a celebration of the advancements communism brought to women- a celebration of being a Soviet woman. I'm not too excited about what communism has done to many parts of the world, and IWD should be about more than taking flowers to your mother and women teachers (especially when it's understood that those flowers are a bit of a bribe)- although I didn't mind getting a seat on the bus last IWD.

There are too many meanings tied up in the holiday for me to really enjoy it. Maybe I'll try to think of the afternoon I spent with some Kyrgyz women last year when they celebrated IWD simply by sharing a meal and enjoying being together.

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