By Ouafa Zaidi, cultural reporter intern at Crossing Borders
Tuesday, March 8, 2022, like everywhere else, is International Women’s Day in Copenhagen. And Crossing Borders is proud and happy to celebrate this event with a program full of interest and charm. In partnership with the Anna Lindh Foundation, the event took place at Studenterhuset, which is, as you may know, one of the liveliest cafés and a vibrant cultural and professional meeting place in Copenhagen.
On this occasion, I will tell you a little more about “International Women’s Rights Day” and the smooth running of this event.
But first, let’s talk about how it all started… and guess what, it all started here in Copenhagen!
It’s interesting to know that International Women’s Day was first established at the 1910 International Conference of Socialist Women in Copenhagen. At this conference, Clara Zetkin, a German journalist, and politician proposed to her assembly the creation of an “International Women’s Day”. The main objective was to obtain the right to vote for women.
This event was celebrated for the first time on March 19, 1911. The date of March 8 was adopted internationally in 1921. And it is only in 1977 that March 8 is officially recognized as “International Women’s Day” by the United Nations.
And little by little… this day becomes more and more important!
Therefore, on March 8, 2022, accompanied by our remarkable guests and public, we celebrated women, we put the light on their rights, and we claimed gender equality.
The event was animated by the distinguished Susanne Gargiulo and included speeches, music, poetry, and good food specially prepared that day by Chef Zaki Abbara. And lots of joy and good cheer!
We had a real show! Simona Abdallah, a Danish-Palestinian percussionist, enchanted us with her darbouka, combining energy, strength, and softness, she knew how to portray the woman through her strength and her delicacy. The crowd went wild, it was hard to stay seated, so we enjoyed the tribute by clapping our hands and making our hearts dance. How good it was!
Sarah Diallo, Noura Bittar and Pearl Cutten rocked us with words.
With bleeding poetry about violence and abuse of women, Sarah Diallo reminded us that this is a day to remember all the women who have been disillusioned, saddened, bruised, and disrespected. That this day is also a day to remember to change things, to make sure that our mothers, our sisters, our friends, our colleagues, and our neighbors have a better life than their female ancestors who had to go through such terrible times so that today they walk with their heads up and continue to challenge those who dare to stand in their way so that tomorrow this day vibrates with their progress.
Noura Bittar, under the eyes full of love and admiration of her young daughter, told us about her fight and efforts for the future of her daughter. She never ceased to thank the chance that put in her path women of all nationalities who inspired her and encouraged her to go forward.
Pearl Cutten’s remarkable soulful voice resonated through poems and songs, to finally call us beautiful. A very nice way to treat each other.
Kristina Issa totally dazzled us, and that’s not saying much. By sharing with us the story of her grandmother, she took us on a nostalgic, painful, and tender journey linking music and memories. We could have listened to her for hours and never wanted to leave.
Alba María Navas Luque, the representative of the Anna Lindh Foundation, an impeccable expert in international grants for the same Foundation, enlightened the assembly with her commitment, explaining the different projects they implement to protect women all around the Euromed.
Lisbeth Pilegaard and Nyeleti Sue-Angel, the duo of executive director of DIPD (Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy), and vice president of the board of Crossing Borders explained their commitments to greater inclusion of women in the workplace while declaring why the former had joined the Anna Lindh Foundation and why the latter is a member of Crossing Borders.
As for the only man on the guestlist Jackson Wahengo, although a great Namibian star appreciated for his incomparable music, kept saying how much he was lucky to be with us to celebrate this important day and rhythmically shared his freedom and strength with us through his music and his electric guitar.
We were all so happy and proud to be there, to celebrate Women’s Day, that it was hard to end it.
This event is very important to Crossing Borders, and we want to emphasize that our office is very feminine, and we believe that women’s place in society and in the workplace is paramount.
The guests were very excited to be there, they shared their stories, their families’ stories, the struggles they had to go through to be where they are today, and all the struggles they still have to go through to be able to achieve a better situation, respect, and acceptance. So that one day their children and future children will not have to go through this struggle.
You get the idea, love, kindness, generosity, courage, and will. Who better to represent Women’s Day?
Know that the underlying idea that each guest wanted to convey is that we are all responsible for our thoughts and actions, and therefore have the power to choose the world we want to live in, the world the women in our lives should live in, and to actively challenge stereotypes, improve living/working conditions, and celebrate women’s achievements. By doing so, we can contribute to creating a better world and a better life for everyone.