Thursday, 27 February

March 8 is not about flowers and gifts. It’s about the rights we fought for. However, discussions regarding the way we should perceive this day still go on. Someone congratulates and wishes “woman’s happiness”, and someone explains what this day is actually about. Read about the beginning of March 8 on the network in reactions from Opinion.

As Kateryna Levchenko, the government’s gender policy commissioner, explained on her page, March 8 is indeed celebrated in most countries of the world, but the aim is to remind of the importance of respect and enforcement of women’s rights.

Yesterday Ulana Suprun, the acting Minister of health, posted a message on her page with the explanation why she does not accept congratulations on March 8. According to her words, gifts of bouquets and chocolates, or the emphasized special attention and care does not help in the struggle for women’s rights, but, on the contrary, throws back all the success which was achieved during many years of struggle for gender equality.

Mrs. Suprun also reminded that basically, this day is a bank holiday mostly in those countries where women’s rights are violated most often, and where there were active attempts (or still are) to build communism. But Ulana Suprun urges not to be lazy to fight for the rights of women and not to ignore injustice on a daily basis, and then the need of Soviet humiliating tradition of “the woman’s day” will disappear by itself.

The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in his return told about female soldiers who, according to his words, are the cement for our defense and give strength to those who are at the forefront. The President is convinced that today we have another country and another army, and this is due to a huge contribution of women and in particular female soldiers.

The journalist Olena Balaba said that she does not celebrate and does not congratulate anyone on this day, however, she added: our women are strong. But we should remember it not just for one day, but 365 days a year.

The musician and leader of the band Kozak system Ivan Lenio, in his turn, urged women who respect themselves, to not let the stronger gender make women feel like the weaker gender once a year.

The writer and editor-in-chief of the Old Lion Publishing House Marjana Savka called March 8 a vestige of the Soviet calendar of holidays, which she has long pushed out of her own system of values. The author notes: a woman is primarily a person, the same personality, as a man. And first and foremost she needs to be herself, to deal with her main tasks and missions that are the parts of her nature, and only then to build all other social models.

The mayor of Dnipro Borys Filatov has a different attitude to this day. He says we should not be deprived of our own past, but it is better to remove the insincerity and officialdom from our life.

People’s deputy Boryslav Bereza addressed the women with congratulations, calling them superheroes who manage practically everything.

Ivanna Kobernyk, the journalist and the advisor to the Minister of education, admitted that March 8 was never a big holiday for her, nor was it a red rag. However, this year she abruptly gave up on March 8. The author admits: there are no personal congratulations from close friends – and this is happiness, and it’s as well happiness that there are congratulations on the Day of a struggle for women’s rights, and every year their number increases.

Bohdan Chervak, the head of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, expressed his respect to the girls and women who publicly urged not to congratulate them on the day of March 8. According to Mr. Chervak, this day must not be considered as a holiday in Ukraine, because it “smells like a Soviet spirit” and causes negative emotions to its apologists.

Reactions were collected by Stepan the Goat

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