As GIMUN’s Annual Conference 2016 is taking place this week, we will be giving you exclusive access to one article a day published in the conference newspaper, at the same moment as the participants and in both of our languages. Check out GIMUN’s website for the full version of the GIMUN Chronicles!
By Valentina San Martin, translated by Aymeric Jacquier
“One is not born a woman, one becomes one”. Those words were written a few years ago already by Simone de Beauvoir in her famous book “The Second Sex”.
In other words, according to Beauvoir, being a woman is not just a natural biological determinism, but also an imposed and internalized status with all the discriminations that it entails.
In this beginning of March 2016, GIMUN Annual Conference calls all female and male delegates to think and debate over the issue of feminine condition at an international level. As noted by the representative of Germany of the Economic and Social Committee, “Women need to be supported and they cannot be ignored”. On this “Women’s Day”, this important question is raised in the Palace of Nations.
Officialised by the United Nations in 1977, “International Women’s Day” was created by female workers and the suffragettes in the beginning of the XXth century, after years of struggling for better working conditions and the right to vote.
On this day, political leaders and popular movements have the opportunity to assess the situation of women.
However, the notion of “International Women’s Day” gives rise to a hot topic of debate. For some, it is important to celebrate this day as long as gender equality has not been reached. For others, the 8th of March is just a useless reminder, that we would forget the very next day. As Coluche said about the “Restos du Cœur” (French charity for needy people), “If we are still here in 10 years, it means we have failed in everything”.
It is indeed justifiable to consider that this day makes the feminist engagement a political gadget that is useful once a year. It increases stereotypes on women and their so-called vulnerability, weakness or fragility, and does not encourage them to thrive in society.
Besides that, the fact that there is only one women’s day presupposes that the engagement for gender equality comes up only once a year. This implies then that the other days of the year would be men’s days. On the contrary, the feminine condition, in terms of justice, is a fight that has to be led every single day.
It is therefore important to note that equality is not something we claim once a year on a cold day of March, but throughout the year. And even though I’m not Charlie, “I am a woman, and not only the 8th of March”.