International Women’s Day 2018

On Thursday 8th March 2018, women all over the world came together to celebrate women’s achievements from the past and present, whilst campaigning for progress for the future. This year’s protests for gender equality and violence against women will not go unnoticed thanks to recent movements like #MeToo and Time’s Up.

Women came together in solidarity and wore the official colour of International Women’s Day, purple, to show their support to the cause. Demonstrations, protests, marches and strikes were held in many cities across the globe.

Spanish strike

Events were held across Spain in over 200 locations including Madrid, Barcelona and Bilbao, to protest against gender discrimination and sexual violence. Female workers all over Spain participated in a 24-hour strike to show the impact of women’s work.

Women were not only encouraged to stop working, but to go on a domestic strike too. This meant no cleaning, no shopping, no cooking or childcare.

Unions have said that 5.3 million women participated in the strike which was supported by 10 unions as well as some top Spanish female politicians. Instead of going into work for the day, women gathered on the streets to mark International Women’s Day, chanting, “if we stop, the world stops”.

New right to jog

Saudi Arabia is known to be one of the most restrictive countries in the world for women. Saudi women are hoping that this year is the beginning of a revolution for women in their country as the younger Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has removed restrictions on a number of women’s rights.

Women are now able to participate in sports, go to football matches and hope to be able to drive by the time summer comes around. They celebrated their new freedoms by going for a jog together out in public.

Pay gap problem

In France, the daily newspaper Libération increased its price for male customers. Women were charged the standard price of EUR 2 whilst men had to pay EUR 2.50. The price difference represented the pay gap between men and women in France.

The French President Emmanuel Macron has also vowed to ‘name and shame’ firms that do not pay women the same amount as men for carrying out the same work.

Queens’ Day in China

Chinese retailers approached International Women’s Day in a different way naming Thursday Queens’ Day’ or ‘Goddesses’ Day’ and offering female customers discounts on typically female-bought goods like cosmetics.

This marketing offended many Chinese activists. They argued that such strategies take the importance away from the real issues that need to be addressed.


McDonald’s decision to flip their logo upside-down ‘in celebration of women everywhere’ attracted both criticism and support. The company flipped their logos to show ‘W’ on all of the McDonald’s US social media channels and in one McDonald’s restaurant in California.

Whilst this move has been called an ‘iconic statement’, it has received a lot of backlash including the demand for McDonald’s to pay their staff a higher minimum wage.

Across the globe, women came together to celebrate the work of women, to demand their voices to be heard and to promote the power of women.

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