Yesterday, around the world, women held strikes and marched in solidarity for International Women’s Day. Themes of equal pay and opportunity, an end to gender-violence and reproductive rights swept many protests. In Buenos Aires, thousands of people trekked to the capital to march from the Obelisco or Congreso to Plaza de Mayo, where they later held a rally. Liliana Daunes was chosen by the strike’s organizers to read an empowering manifesto, which illustrated the movement’s main concerns.
Throughout yesterday and today, twitter has been alive with support (and criticism) for the women’s day, the cause, and the marches. Most hotly contested is the detainment of over 20 women at last night’s march in Buenos Aires.
Around 10:30 PM last night, a group of women, which some consider militant feminists, were protesting outside the Cathedral for abortion rights. They chanted, “Iglesia, basura, vos sos la dictadura (Church, trash, you are the dictatorship).” They threw bottles and rocks at the front of the church, and later set fire to the perimeter.
The police response was disproportionately violent: gun shots were fired in the air, and tear gas was used (see gallery below). The force with which the women were detained varies; some were carried off by multiple police officers, some report torn clothes and bruises. Three of the detainees were transferred to Hospital Argerich, but all were released this morning.
Reporter Laura Arnés from Página 12 shares her experience: “They grabbed a fellow activist by the hair, they hit us and gave us bruises… they told us that if we resisted they would break [our] arms.”
This isn’t the first time protests have turned violent in Argentina. Women’s protests in the last few years have ended on similar terms, like it happened last year outside Rosario’s Cathedral, which ended with tear gas and psychical harm to the protesters, courtesy of the police.
The following mixed media gallery will take you through the 2017 Buenos Aires International Women’s Day march, from rosy start to ugly finish, including today’s twitter aftermath.
If the twitter fury was not enough, Brazilian President Michel Temer made an incredibly sexist comment about his belief in what women’s role in society should be: in honor of International Women’s Day (thank you so much) he said that “I have absolute conviction… of how much women work in the house, it is for the home, for children… In the economy women have great participation. Nobody has the capability to notice the change in prices in the supermarket more than the woman.” There’s no punchline.
So basically, keep up the good works at home and continue to find the deals in the supermarket, ladies. (Queue nervous laughter to stifle the tears, the rage).
extremely temer voice: “I am a grown up unable to pick food at the supermarket. This is why I am thankful for women”
— @vex0rian? (@vex0rian) March 9, 2017
Temer might feel stronger thinking women make up a severe minority in the workplace market, but the worldwide female work strike for International Women’s Day *hopefully* made a point about the women’s integral role in modern society.
Comments like these remind us of why we need feminism, why we marched, and the solidarity women around the world in their fight for equality. It was a privileged to attend the march, as many women likely could not get away from work, be it the home or office. If you missed out on the Buenos Aires march, read our personal experience here.