Arts and Culture

Why isn’t International Women’s Day a holiday in the Philippines?

Would you believe it if I told you that International Women’s Day is considered a national holiday in 28 countries? Some of them even give women days off during this holiday. If you’re surprised, you should be because the Philippines isn’t part of the list.

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global celebration of the achievements of women. It’s a day of empowerment and also a call for gender parity. So it’s not an event that only specific countries or people can celebrate, it’s for all. As journalist and feminism activist Gloria Steinem said, “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”

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That said, it only makes sense that people can celebrate an event so significant away from their busy lives. But skeptics might also ask, “How’s a holiday going to make a difference or impact ON how we celebrate International Women’s Day?”

Here in the Philippines, events like EDSA Revolution and Bonifacio Day are considered as national holidays because it celebrates the famous and not-so-famous heroes who have fought for our country. But how come we haven’t adopted IWD as a holiday when it’s basically the same? Women have done so much in many aspects and industries. Yet, many are still being marginalized and unrecognized because of their gender.

READ MORE: These Filipino heroines showed that women stood their own in the battlefield

During IWD, we see women, and allies of women, all over the world join together to fight for equality and promote feminism. Many also want to honor and spend time with the women in their lives.

Or maybe it’s not the right time to have IWD as a national holiday because we have leaders that have a penchant for rape jokes and shaming women? Hmm, sad.

But, you know, if IWD doesn’t become a national holiday here, at least we should make it a point to make every day Women’s Day.


Photo courtesy of Pexels

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TAGS: A, holiday, Philippines, why
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