10 Photos Of International Women's Day Demonstrations Around The World You Don't Want To Miss
On Thursday, thousands of people around the globe gathered to celebrate women and protest gender inequality in honor of International Women's Day. From a historic strike in Spain to a rally against fascism in the Philippines, women raised their voices and their hand-written signs in support of the causes that most impact their lives. You won't want to miss these photos of International Women's Day demonstrations around the world.
According to the event's official website, its purpose is "celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women" and inciting "a call to action for accelerating gender parity." International Women's Day has taken place since the early 1900s, but in some locations it felt a little different this year. Coming off of the #MeToo movement that began with the Harvey Weinstein scandal in the United States and spread elsewhere, many women's rights activists have renewed energy for the fight.
"It feels different," Gwen O'Reilly, who directs the Northwestern Ontario Women's Centre in Ontario, told CBC News about how International Women's Day has changed in the wake of #MeToo. "There's certainly more energy and hope." That energy was evident in photos from cities around the world at this year's International Women's Day demonstrations.
Women in Manila, the Philippines' capital city, gathered in the Plaza Miranda wearing purple and pink clothes, including bandanas and hats bearing protest messages. "Sahod, Trabaho, Paninirahan, Ipaglaban, Kabanay," read some of the hats, which roughly translates to "Wages, Jobs, Homes, Defense, Family."
Others called President Rodrigo Duterte's government a "diktadura," or dictatorship. Many demonstrators protested Duterte, who's allegedly ordered the extrajudicial killing of hundreds of people suspected of drug violations. Leaders of the demonstration gave roses to female family members of the victims who were present.
Duterte has been accused of making many misogynistic remarks, including rape jokes. Last month he told soldiers to target female rebels by shooting them in their genitals.
"We're so alarmed," protestor Jean Enriquez told the Associated Press. "We have seen his direct attacks on women under his iron-hand rule and it's now time to heighten our resistance."
London, United Kingdom
The message "Women hold up half the sky" lit up the British Houses of Parliament as dusk fell before International Women's Day. The next day, London demonstrators gathered in Russell Square, where they dressed a sculpture of Francis Duke of Bedford, a male aristocrat from the 18th century, in suffragette garb and put up a sign reading "Votes for Women Statues."
Here, a Londoner makes a mural on the window of an office building in Fitzrovia, a district in the middle of the city.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Women in Chiang Mai gathered at the historic Tha Pae Gate. Many held signs referencing "Thailand 4.0," a 20-year plan announced last year that aims to advance STEM education for women and girls with the help of the United Nations.
Here, transgender supermodels march. Hundreds joined the rally, which wound throughout Chiang Mai's old town.
Spanish women are marking International Women's Day with an enormous strike that's supported by multiple high-profile female politicians and 10 unions. Participants aren't going to work, and many are also refusing to do domestic work or spend money. Protestors are in part demanding equal pay; Spanish women earn between 13 and 19 percent less than their male colleagues, according to Eurostat.
Above, demonstrators gather in Madrid's Lavapiés neighborhood. Other rallies took place across the country, including in San Sebastián, Valencia, and Barcelona.
In Berlin, women marched along the city's long Skalitzer road and demonstrated in Hermannplatz Square. Above, a woman gives a speech before the rally.
Germany's relationship with International Women's Day stretches back more than a hundred years: It was one of the first countries to celebrate the event in 1911. Clara Zetkin, a leader in Germany's Social Democratic Party, was the one who advocated that the event be extended beyond the United States (where it was "National Woman's Day").