First official Women’s Day holiday observed in Berlin

Berlin: The city-state of Berlin observed its very first official public holiday to mark the International Women’s Day 2019 on Friday.

Germany has a long-drawn association with women’s rights, with German women’s rights activist Clara Zetkin proposing the idea of celebrating an International Women’s Day in 1910 at the Conference of Socialist Women.

Germany’s Family and Women’s Minister Franziska Giffey, meanwhile, tried to challenge gender stereotypes in male-dominated jobs on the eve of Women’s Day on Thursday. Wearing bright orange overalls, she travelled through a Berlin suburb on the back of a garbage truck, carrying out duties as a sanitation worker for a day.

“When it comes to gender equality, a lot has been achieved in recent years,” she told Deutsche Welle.
“We’re in the 100th year of women’s suffrage but we still have a lot to do,” Giffey added.

“We need to ensure that women can not only be active in leadership positions, but in every profession. We have to make sure that social professions are valued. We have to make sure that more is done against domestic violence, especially against women,” she stated.

Thousands of protesters will be taking to the streets in Berlin, with demonstrations planned at iconic landmarks like Alexanderplatz on March 8.

Trade unionists and representatives from women’s organisations will march through Berlin’s streets to protests against unequal wages, before heading to Kreuzberg for a “global scream”. The minute-long scream is about “shouting outrage without restraint,” organisers have said.