The woman is a woman not only on March 8

International Women’s Day is a day when every woman feels special and appreciated. But it is also a day when we must remember the hard struggle for women’s rights and their place in the world.

International Women’s Day began to be celebrated after a decision was made at the first International Women’s Conference in 1910 in Copenhagen. The aim of this holiday is to focus on gender equality and the right to good working conditions and women’s pay, which are controversial among different countries. International Women’s Day will be celebrated next year – on March 19, and the first countries to adopt this day as a national holiday are Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark.

After the outbreak of World War I, women gathered in early March to protest the war. With Russia sacrificing more than 2 million, Russian women are once again taking to the streets to win peace. This happens on February 24, and this day is declared Women’s Day, but with the change of the Gregorian calendar, this holiday is moved to March 8. From that moment on, the celebration of International Women’s Day takes on a new meaning and is a day of reflection on the preservation of peace in the world, as well as on improving the living conditions of women on the planet.

Women’s Day in Bulgaria began to be celebrated as such in 1915, but was officially recognized as a holiday after 1944. After 1960, not only women but also mothers, wives and teachers are at the center of this day. On March 8, every man presents a bouquet to his beloved, his mother and other women important to him, to show his gratitude that they are by his side and give meaning to his life. But is every woman treated as such?

In the course of the implementation of the activities under the PATTERN project (Prevent And CombaT domesTic violEnce against Roma womeN) we found that Roma women are subject to systemic domestic violence. Their perception of the partner’s normal attitude towards the woman is often associated with the unawareness that they are humiliated, abused, raped, restricted, threatened.

Are Roma women aware that they are victims of domestic violence?

  • Understanding the nature of domestic violence in the Roma community is closely linked to the community’s understanding of gender and the dominant role of men. Women are still perceived as the ‘weak’ sex and the extent of domestic violence covers more than half of women in the community;
  • In the course of the research we found that we can divide the women subject to research into three categories: 1. those who reject the existence of violence or justify it; 2. women who realize how destructive and dangerous violence is, but still cannot find enough strength or reason to stand up to it and stop it; and 3. women who have found the strength to openly reject all forms of violence and are willing to respond regardless of the consequences. The factor that determines what category a Roma woman belongs to is the level of self-confidence she has and the stage at which she is determined to change the status quo.

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