On Thursday, March 8th, women from around the world gathered together wearing purple to celebrate women’s social, political, and cultural achievements. More importantly, thousands of activists spoke openly about issues such as gender inequality and sexual discrimination that women continue to face in 2018.
None of my colleagues were participating in any marches in the city I live in, Burgos, Spain, and it was impossible for me to make it to Madrid since I worked till 5pm that late afternoon.
As I was walking home after my after school shift, I began to hear drums and women chanting towards the city center. I was shocked, there was a group of college students, mostly young girls, and a few other demonstrators, walking from business to business asking the store owners and staff to close their shops and walk with them in solidarity.
Throughout Spain approximately 5.3 million women went on a 24 hour strike in which they were urged to not report to work, spend money, or do domestic chores.
The women had support from various unions and political figures. In the major cities, Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, etc., large demonstrations occurred on the streets and in neighborhood squares.
Burgos had a large demonstration at night in Plaza Mayor, literally a minute walk from my apartment, where women young and old united and cheered on the speakers. It was the first time in 6 months that I felt proud of the residents and city I live in. I thought to myself “Wow, the women here do care!”.
I had an idea that since Burgos is conservative, the women were more reserved and obided by the cultural gender norms. I got emotional seeing the women with signs and listening to them sing and chant in unison. I’ve been to many demonstrations in both California and NYC and get chills every time and the same happened for me this night. The spirit of the “mujer” was alive and well in Burgos, Spain.