I come from an ex- Soviet country. March 8th, was a big thing back home. In fact, it still is. I think its a holiday even. But when I think of women at home and women all around the world, there is not much happiness that I see out there waiting for them. At home, women are subject to domestic violence, speaking of gender equality makes one automatically a feminist and overall respect for women only comes when she becomes a mother and reaches the age of 60 or 70.
We also have this heavy burden of something called honor and though perhaps not as severe as it is in Turkey (where honor killings is a popular practice) there are cases of violence against women or punishment for simply lets say crossing paths with a young boy.
The other day, as I was strolling down the streets of Baku, I witnessed how a young man (somewhere around in his 20s) was slapping his female friend (probably his wife). There were three men who passed by, but no one said anything. I stopped, watched him for a while, scream and shout at her (I thought my presence there, would make him stop but I was wrong) when I finally asked him why is he beating her up? He was taken by a surprise. "She betrayed me" was his first response. "I work day and night, for her and yet she lies to me" he then added, to which crying young woman lifted her head and said it wasn't true. I tried explaining to him that this is not right, and that he should apologize and they should try talking. He listened carefully, but I don't know what happened next. I watched him walk away but what happened later, nobody knows.
And so on the day like today, thinking of that young woman sitting on the ground, crying, I wish and hope for no violence against women, equality and respect, and support to women all around the world. We all are born equal in this world, and we should all fight (men including) violence against women and demand equal rights for women. Happy Women's Day!