Saturday, May 25, 2024

WOMEN’S DAY: LESS HYPOCRISY, MORE SOLIDARITY

In an effort to avoid the costs associated with providing required statutory benefits, factory employers often fire workers who become pregnant, sometimes requiring all female workers to take pregnancy tests before starting work. . Even if pregnant women are allowed to continue working, they are often denied benefits, including maternity leave, childcare and breastfeeding time. And let’s not talk about verbal abuse, which often turns into gender assault! The conclusion of all this: The language of women taught by violence is – silence and lies.

Author: Katerina Topallova

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we always embrace the idea of ​​”collective individualism” or in other words the idea that individuals coming together can change the way the world works?! But, unfortunately, here in Macedonia, such meanings and phenomena are dim, non-essential, decorative peripherals, judging by the general idea and the flood of reactions from the March 8 party women’s march held in Prilep, entitled “Equal and Powerful”. The visionary slogans in the foreground, seemingly always ahead of time, marched on March 5, as it had begun in New York on March 8, 1857, when textile workers marched in protest against unfair working conditions and unequal rights for women.  It was one of the first organized female workers’ strikes, during which they called for a shorter working day and good wages! A little digression…

The life, work and rights of women are far from what we imagine, understand and consume every day! I wonder for the umpteenth time, what is the image of women, women’s rights and freedoms in Macedonia? We know the answers but ignore the visuals… Every year they get worse!

A parade of political speeches, “SMS” union marches and finally a “wedding without a bride” – full of bars and restaurants! No, nothing concrete comes for women who sit deprived and at the mercy of the system itself with the overall social structure. I wonder how much all that organization and parade costs, with transport, stages and sound system and all that pleasure to celebrate something in advance, for which today especially the female part of the world has quite divided opinions and understandings about the existential status of Women’s Day, considering her bad looks today?!

Even the less closed-minded among us, seeing these kinds of scenes find it increasingly difficult to consume the levels of hypocrisy and doublespeak and arshins that are reaching a higher peak every day! Why am I saying all this?

70 textile workers from Kavadar filed a lawsuit for non-payment of three salaries, while the court of Kavadar rejected the request and forced them to pay 20 thousand euros for court costs. Now how can I not turn down all possible invitations to all those events celebrating Women’s Day?! I don’t know what there is to celebrate here or what there might be to celebrate at the right time?! What’s the point of this kind of hypocritical parading, lavish expectations or pub crawls when our vision is clearly clouded. We are “fighting” for some basic dignity, equality and the opportunity to be proud right, taking into account all gender discrimination, domestic violence, sexual assault or harassment and misogyny that reigns in the world. And the whole woman’s struggle is knocked out of her head when she sees these political marches against all the misery and pain of the women of the neighboring town. No sensitivity and care for the most vulnerable categories, embodied in the image of a woman. Or what the conservative critics on social networks would say – at least the money from the march organization would have paid the court costs for the textile workers!

In our country, obviously, only women – politicians – have rights, while working women face special challenges apart from those faced by other workers. In an effort to avoid the costs associated with providing legally required benefits, factory employers often fire workers who become pregnant, sometimes even requiring all female workers to take pregnancy tests before being hired. Even if pregnant women are allowed to continue working, they are often denied benefits, including maternity leave, childcare and breastfeeding time. And let’s not talk about verbal abuse, which often turns into gender assault! The conclusion of all this: The language of women taught by violence is – silence and lies.

Therefore, in the future, if we want things to go in the right humane, altruistic and above all humane direction, we must not forget that no one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another. No one can think and hit someone at the same time. Therefore, I regret to say that the women’s struggle in our country has not yet begun, so I see no reason to celebrate!

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