Feminism
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My Experience at the International Women’s Strike

Amidst the global activity on International Women’s Day, I was able to participate in the International Women’s Strike by basically “disappearing” on March 8 from 2:30pm. This post describes my experience and explains the reason why I joined the strike.

International Women’s Day is a heartbreaking reminder of the women who’ve lost their lives fighting for equal rights. Yes, it is a celebration day, but it is also a commemoration of the battles women have fought over the years. It should be a day to reflect upon how women are treated in the workforce, and in every aspect of their lives, around the globe.

A couple of weeks ago, I heard a woman say that there was “no gender in business anymore”, and that inequality is the fault of women. She also shared a pamphlet stating that women only have two problems: 1. not having enough to wear, and 2. not having enough closet space to put clothes in.

I was struck, hurt deeply, and infuriated beyond comprehension. Far from judging her (although it was hard not to do so) I tried to understand the environment in which she grew upand the privileges she had not yet understood, especially considering this devastating data on the Mexican female workforce. I wanted to yell and defend all women in the workforce who are not valued, who are judged by their clothes, who are not taken seriously, who are unable to climb up the ladder. I wanted to scream as much as I could so maybe it could break the glass ceiling many are apparently unaware of. Unfortunately, I kept quiet, and I apologize for that.

March 8th was getting closer and closer, and I decided I wanted to disappear. #ADayWithoutWomen was something I wanted to be part of – I wanted to try to make an impact on the socio economic environment that surrounds me with my little grain of sand. I couldn’t do it from 9:00am to 3:30pm, but at 3:30pm, two of my closest female friends and I did a lock-down in my house. We all took different approaches to the strike, but I decided to stop using social networks, to not go to work, and really just do nothing! It was an interesting experience, and here are a few things that crossed my mind.

I am a privileged white Latina woman. I never realized how automatically I reach for my phone and open my social networks. I felt furious at myself for thinking that what I was doing was helping. I also felt angry to know that in my office I wouldn’t be missed because although there are only a few women, I was the only one on strike. I thought that what I was doing was stupid, selfish, and privileged, and basically meant nothing. Thankfully, my friends were there to encourage me.

WhatsApp Image 2017-03-10 at 1.17.19 PM

Photo credit: Bita Aranda

Although I still think it was not the best way for me to make a statement, I can say that March 8 was one of the best days I’ve spent with my female friends. The environment we created was one of support, growth and tolerance. It was about getting informed and getting involved in issues regarding gender inequality in Mexico. Among the things we talked about were privilege, activism, intersectional feminism, self-domain, patience, politics and motivation.

For me, that day held another meaning: sorority and self-care. I learned that I need to be patience with myself, and that I am still learning to change my world or my environment.

If you participated in any way; either marching, staying home, wearing red or black, or shared information; you were a crucial part of International Women’s Day, so I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope we keep growing, and we keep fighting together, and I hope one day we share a word we all can be proud of.

Cover photo credit: Seth Doyle

This entry was posted in: Feminism

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I currently live at México, where I work for an International Accelerator aiding Latinx businesses in the United States. I personally work for inclusive entrepreneurship and helping Latinas get the same opportunities than Latinos abroad. My mission is to be able to inspire girls and women around the globe, by providing the tools necessary for them to be comfortable and believe in themselves. Whereas is enrolling for a science program, writing a poem, inventing something, or owning a business.

4 Comments

  1. Pingback: via My Experience at the International Women’s Strike — Girls’ Globe – Inspire For A Better Life

  2. Thank you for your contributions by raising the voices of women with your writing! I’m sorry you felt selfish for staying home, but I appreciate your honesty. A million and one times I’ve felt guilty or bad about something and I think guilt (especially about being selfish) seeps in so insidiously. What you did was amazing and I’m proud to hear that you took a stand in the way you felt was right and empowering for you and your friends! Thanks so much. Love and blessings.

    • Bita Aranda says

      Patty, I can’t thank you enough for your words, they healed me and made me realize that I have to be MORE patient with myself. Thank you for taking the time to read my experience, and to write me these kind kind words. Yes, guilt seeps in so insidiously, but we have to remind eachother that we are doing our best, and we are finding or searching for new ways to make a change. I can tell you that day more than ever, I realized my privileges, and I am working towards “using” them as a tool, rather than a commodity. Un abrazo desde México, Bita.

      • So glad my words were helpful. Yes, we are so hard on ourselves. I’m a culprit of this as well. Blessings and hugs to you also! Keep doing amazing work, Bita!
        Patty

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