A Snapshot of International Women’s Day in Tokyo and Serbia

By Sruthi, Mika, Dijana, and Maddie

What began as a 15,000-person protest against oppression and inequality in New York in 1908 is now a global event, with thousands of people from around the world  marching, walking out, and demonstrate for women’s rights.

On March 8th, women and men in small towns and large cities participated in International Women’s Day. Despite the shared goal among the protestors, each  community celebrated the event in its own way. Below are snapshots of how International Women’s Day was celebrated, discussed, and, in some cases, questioned.

Tokyo

Typically, there is not much protesting or marching in Japan, as people tend to avoid engaging in public discourse about politics or issues about women, especially in public spaces.

But at 2:30 PM on March 8th in Tokyo, marchers took to the street. The event was organized bythe Women’s March Tokyo Organizing Committee and took place between Aoyama and Shibuya in the center of Tokyo. Though the 300 people who participated did not match the thousands who marched in New York, Dublin, or other large cities, the protesters were passionate and drew attention of the press.

Translation:  “My first ever march!”

Translation: “Thank you! All the rage, concerns, and frustrations which I had experienced in the past… Thanks to everyone, I now realize that I am no longer alone and am energized by all of you. Let’s voice our anger together, and make Japan and the rest of the world a better place!”

Though may news organizations covered the protest, including a livestream from Huffington Post Japan, the national public broadcaster NHK chose not to. Many expressed their frustration with the decision:

Translation: “NHK sucks! They showed marches abroad, no mention about Japan!”

Serbia

Serbians also held a march for International Women’s Day, with news outlets estimating that as many as 600 people attended, though the Facebook post shows only 45 publicly said they attended:

In Serbia, many popular singers turned to social media to comment on women’s equality:

Jelena Rozga

Natasa Bekvalac

 But not all Serbians agreed with the meaning behind International Women’s Day and the march. For some, gender equality was not an issue worth protesting:

Translation: (comment 1)“What right do we lack??? If I am, as a woman, fed up from these feministic things, I wonder how men feel when they sleep with women with silicones but eat normal food only on Sundays at their mom’s’ house!!!…”

(comment 3) “Foolishness. You can vote, you have jobs, you can chose your careers, what do you want more? Stop bothering people.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *