International Women´s Day is a new holiday in Berlin

    Irmhild Böll, 1970´s So, we have a new “official public holiday” in Berlin. The 8th of March – #IWD2019. A few months ago, the Senate of Berlin chose to use “International Women´s Day / IWD” for the one new holiday, it was planning to introduce, in order to have a similar amount of free days like other German states (Bavaria used to have 3 more work free days than Berlin). Of course, there have been all kinds of discussions and many arguments against it, but I think, it was a good decision. As long, as the majority of the worlds population has still to fight for equal rights or is suppressed in traditions, cultures and/ or countries – so long the elevation form a simple “international day” to a “public holiday” makes sense.

    Of course, it is not only this day, that we should think and be aware. If you only think of your mother on mothers day, you do NOT respect and honour your mother in the right way. Similar, If you only mention achievements or the plight of women on March 8th, it may be lip service or a marketing strategy. Furthermore, if you only talk about “mothers” on women´s day, you fail to understand what it is all about.

    GlobalGoals video for #GirlsDay 2016

    My daughters, my (female) friends, my sister, my mother, my Ex(es), my aunts, cousins, nieces, colleagues, partners, … they all deserve my acknowledgement and support not only on this day. They deserve solidarity and respect – as do the countless women in need, who are treated by men in ways, we would never want our daughters or friends to be treated.

    This respect starts with questioning myself – with analysing my own behaviours; my words and actions, in how I treat women respectfully and “properly” – every day. And did I fail to keep my temper or to exercise my advantage of (maybe) being stronger …? There are moments, we all are on the edge and we may scream at our child or be unkind to the person we love – however we can do better – every day.

    #Goal5 : Gender Equality

    Yet the international women´s day is more than stories, celebrations or challenges inside families, relationships or societies. It is a day to honour and acknowledge particularly the rights of girls and women as part of the human rights – an integral part of the 17 “Global Gals for Sustainable Development by the UN”. We have a choice to support these goals as well as to chose from thousands of different initiatives and organisations, which are working diligently since many decades on this topic, locally and globally.

    PS: The Woman on the picture above is my mother in the 1970´s – a strong and proud woman, who despite everything she had to endure never lost her good spirit and laughter until today. Her signature outfit (as a good catholic woman) in the 70´s & 80´s was the headscarf, “…because it was the easiest to wear with so many children and parents to take care of – but never having time to take care of my own hair”.

    further info:

    official page:

    link to #Goal5 of the #GlobalGoals #SDGs –

    another great video from 2016: #WhatIreallyreallywant ->

    for a selection of the “best videos from the last years” for #IWD see here:

    #HeForShe #BalanceForBetter