Contrast: Women’s Day in the Middle East

Middle East Womens Day Roses, video still
Middle East Womens Day Roses, video still

I heard that many schools in America had to close on Wednesday because female teachers took the day off to “protest”. This caused many women to lose money to pay for baby sitters or stay home with the kids and lose income.

To me, that is not what Women’s Day was created for.

In Egypt, women who work were given flowers by their co-workers to show they are appreciated.

In Aleppo, Syria, female medics were given flowers and cake, for the same reason.

When I was still living in America, my local community did “Women in the Arts Week” in honor of Women’s Day and to showcase talented women who paved the way for other artists to succeed.

One year several women’s groups got together to celebrate Women’s Day, but also created events throughout the whole month of March to showcase successful women.

This women’s day protest in America this year seems mean spirited to me, and not why Women’s Day was created.

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Cheri Berens lives in Egypt working as a researcher for the Egyptian Ministry of Culture. She experienced Egypt’s 2011 and 2013 revolutions and witnessed the Muslim Brotherhood takeover and violence that followed.