Why International Women's Day matters

To mark International Women's Day on March 8 commentators criticise the lack of equality between the sexes and argue that more must be done to open doors to future generations of women so that sooner or later the day can be abolished altogether.

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El País (ES) /

All paths must be open to our daughters

Four women mayors, Ada Colau (Barcelona), Anne Hidalgo (Paris), Mónica Fein (Rosario, Argentina) and Célestine Ketcha Courtès (Bangangté, Cameroon) publish a joint appeal in El País to mark International Women's Day:

“We are proud to be the first women to have reached the office of mayor in Paris, Rosario, Bangangté and Barcelona. However, as women in elected local posts we are aware that we are still a minority. A look at photos of any city council in the world will prove this. The picture will almost invariably be the same: a sea of men in suits and ties with a few female faces dotted among them. And the same is true at the international mayoral congresses we attend: most of the participants are men. … If women are not elected to local posts in the same proportion as men are, this is already an injustice in itself, because we need to show our daughters that all the different paths are open to them.”

La Libre Belgique (BE) /

There should be no need for Women's Day

Sooner or later there will be no more need for International Women's Day, La Libre Belgique hopes:

“In our Western societies, equality between men and women has been laid out in the founding texts. But who can say that this equality is completely respected? All studies show that there are still inexplicable and unjustifiable pay differences for the same work. In our daily lives, similarly, we must observe with regret that women still do more in the home than men. Even if their careers and jobs are just as demanding as those of their spouses. So the fight for equal rights must be still waged on a daily basis. That goes for women, but also - and above all - for men. So that one day we can do away with Women's Day on the grounds that women have all the rights they're entitled to.”

Cumhuriyet (TR) /

Ankara betraying the Republic's achievements

Turkey's policy on women is incredibly backward, the government-critical daily Cumhuriyet complains:

“The real problem is the government: it bases its policies - sometimes more and sometimes less - on political Islam, or on socio-economic principles on the basis of which women are for the most part locked up at home. ... Just look at how in recent years a growing number of girls have been robbed of their dream that one day they'll be happy and free. How they're incarcerated in a world of religious rules, how child marriages are increasingly seen as a source of income [in the form of dowries], and how girls were condemned to death by fire in an improvised religious school dormitory [in November in Adana province]. And then look at the values that the Republic bequeathed to girls years ago. How it saw women as citizens with equal rights, and made its political decisions accordingly.”

Politiken (DK) /

Concentrate on fight for equal rights

Women's fight for equal rights is often undermined by minority gender- and identity-based political groups, Politiken criticises:

“They get all up in arms and insist that it's impossible to fight for equal pay and a more equitable distribution of power without at the same time improving the situation of certain feminist groups or people from the LGBT milieu. ... But these groups are only making fools of themselves, and are rightly criticised for acting as if they were out of touch with reality. That could harm the entire equal rights movement. Such an approach is tiring and has political consequences. ... If a growing number of minorities start fighting for their own rights, they risk undermining the fight of the majority. And that continues to be above all about the systematic unequal treatment of women.”