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8M Barcelona 2024

Celebrating International Women’s Day: 8M Barcelona 2024

8M Barcelona

As the vibrant city of Barcelona prepares to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, the streets begin to come alive with purple flags and quotes of solidarity in the windows of apartments and local businesses. Women of all ages, nationalities, and life experiences come together to continue the long-running demand for equality and justice. 

 

This annual commemoration is valued especially in Barcelona, a city with a rich history of feminist activism and consistency to fighting for women’s rights. Let’s take a closer look at how International Women’s Day is celebrated here, and why it remains such a relevant holiday still in modern-day Catalonia.

8M Barcelona 2024

A brief historical perspective

Barcelona’s journey towards gender equality traces back to the early 20th century when women first began organizing for their rights amidst Spanish social and political upheaval. The Second Spanish Republic from 1931 to 1939 held significant advancements for women, such as the right to vote and the legalization of divorce. However, the gains made during this period were short-lived, as Franco’s dictatorship from 1939 to 1975 rolled back many of these rights, relegating women back to more traditional roles within the family and society.

 

In the aftermath of Franco’s regime, Spain underwent a period of transition to democracy, culminating in the adoption of a new constitution in 1978. This pivotal moment laid the groundwork for the reemergence of feminist movements in Barcelona and across Spain, as women fought to reclaim their once-visible autonomy. In 1981, Spain legalized divorce again, followed by the decriminalization of abortion in 1985, marking huge milestones for the country’s path towards a righteous balance between the freedoms granted to men and women alike. 8M Barcelona 2024’s strength has derived from a history of ups and downs, where women start once again at the base and climb back up, regardless of the setbacks.

International Women's Day 2024

The importance of organizations

Organizations based in Barcelona are central to the continuity of this fight and to the mass celebrations which take place on International Women’s Day. They all work together in forming 8M Barcelona 2024. The Ajuntament de Barcelona’s Department of Women and Civil Rights  spearheads initiatives and events which make women living in the city feel empowered and capable of achieving their goals on their own. Under the leadership of Deputy Mayor Sonia Recasens, the department works to address issues such as gender-based violence, workplace discrimination, and access to education and healthcare.

 

Another critical player to be noted is the BCN Antimasclista campaign, launched by the city council to combat gender violence in promoting a culture of mutual respect. Led by feminist activists like Laura Pérez and Maria Rovira, the campaign raises awareness about the true prevalence of assault against women in Barcelona, and provides services for survivors.

 

Gender-based violence remains an issue that taints the overall comfortability and safety of living as a woman in Barcelona, with nearly 30,000 cases reported in Catalonia in 2021 alone. This figure underlines the ever-present need for advocacy, intervention, and assistance to ensure the well-being of women in the region. In the workplace, women in Catalonia also face notable disparities in employment and representation in leadership positions, resulting from systemic and societal barriers that persist despite certain legislative advancements.

Celebrating International Women’s Day in 2024

On March 8th, in the past and this year as well, girls and women all over the city will participate in demonstrations and protests organized mostly by grassroots feminist collectives across neighborhoods, advocacy groups, and other social activist organizations such as:

  • LIDERA – Barcelona Activa’s School for Women Entrepreneurs
  • Se Va a Armar La Gorda – Feminist Collective organizing nocturnal demonstration on March 7th
  • PIAD – Women’s Support and Information Points
  • FemBloc – Several organizations bound against digital degradation and violence against women
  • Barcelona Women’s Network –  A community for women in Barcelona spanning across nationalities
  • Ca la Dona – Home for the feminist movement of Catalonia for encouraging progressive conversations and action in politics, economics, society, and more

These are several of the orgs which come together to make 8M Barcelona 2024 the major deal that it has become. The overall purpose of these events is to end gender violence, discrimination, and inequality, through the bonding and strength of female individuals through workshops, panel discussions, fun activities, and more. It is tradition to hand out flowers to women as a symbol of appreciation and recognition, and streets and people are simultaneously adorned with purple ribbons and decor.

Theme 8M Barcelona 2024: Breaking the glass ceiling

This year, the Barcelona City Council has declared a theme for International Women’s Day in the city: “Breaking the Glass Ceiling.” This means eliminating the vertical segregation that girls experience both growing up while in school, and then later once integrating into the workforce, which makes it harder to achieve the high-standing positions in fields of politics, STEM, and business that men do. Barcelona’s 8M aims to bring more females into such positions and go beyond traditional placements of gender in the mind and in society alike. More facts on the current state of women in leadership in Barcelona are included here.

8M Barcelona 2024

Programme 8M Barcelona 2024

Public spaces become hubs of activism and changemaking functionalities. Many workplaces offer women the day off to participate in the festivities as well. Men are also welcome to participate, as opportunities for reflection on current society and education for the future are encouraged to be taken up by whoever is willing and interested. The events for this year will be uploaded on the Ajuntament organization’s website here.

8M Barcelona 2024: Manifesto

This 8th of March, for the first time, a manifesto will be read expressing Barcelona City Council’s firm commitment to the feminist struggle and denouncing the inequality and discrimination that women experience in all spheres of life and at a structural level simply for being women.

 

The aim of this official event is to reaffirm the City Council’s commitment to continue making headway with innovative and transformative feminist policies.

 

The reading of the manifesto will take place on 8 March at 9.00 am in Plaça Sant Jaume and will be accompanied by the unveiling of a banner featuring the image of the 8 March campaign on the balcony of the City Hall, this year with the theme “Let’s break through the glass ceiling”.

Student demonstration

Every year, youth from all over the city join in front of the main campus of the University of Barcelona in favor of protecting and ultimately empowering young female voices. The main organizers are student unions and organizations who are looking to blaze a trail forward in girls’ progression towards a life they would love to live, fearlessly.

Demonstration Assemblea 8M

This is the largest demonstration of March 8th, which will begin in Jardinets de Gràcia and end at Plaça Sant Jaume. It calls for a celebration of a female-led life and a simultaneous fight for all the work left to be done to reach equality. This is a queer-friendly event which will fill the cobblestone streets of the beautiful neighborhood of Gràcia, spanning across Barcelona with bouts of passion, cheering and yelling.

8M Barcelona 2024

Culture & 8M Barcelona 2024

As a way of showing the city itself has deep-rooted appreciation and support for women’s participation in its beautification, many of the cultural events centers of Barcelona hold specific events to celebrate womanhood in history and the present. 8M Barcelona 2024 washes the city in purple through such connections over artistic and knowledge-based experiences.

Barcelona's museums

Special exhibitions, activities and free entry for women in museums.

Cinema, theatre, art and music

Cinemas like Zumzeig and the Mecal Factory will be showing feminist films, musical events will be held at Sala Paral-lel 62, and several other artistic and conversation spotlights will go on as well.

Libraries

Libraries in Barcelona have historically all been named after males, but in the past few years have been transitioning to being renamed after iconic women. 

Civic centres

As most major policy change starts at the civic level, of course the civic centers will be hosting important workshops, talks, exhibitions and more fun activities which celebrate the gap in gender equality that has steadily been worked to close, especially over the past century.

8M Barcelona 2024

Conclusion 8M Barcelona 2024

The widely held celebration of International Women’s Day in Barcelona serves as both a reminder of the progress that has been made so far, and the work that is itching to be done ahead. Little girls and boys growing up in the city are able to learn firsthand the importance of a society which values the two genders greatly, and as generations roll on this will hopefully engrain itself in the fabric of Barcelona itself. 

 

From the suffragettes of the early 20th century to the activists of today, women here have been pioneers for justice across Europe, and even the world, where there exists an even larger divide between the role of genders in city life. This year, make sure to join in on another purple marker of history by joining the battle for an increasingly inclusive Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, and further outwards! 8M Barcelona 2024 and International Women’s Day as a whole is a call to action in the form of exercising the freedom to be joyous, loud, and constantly climbing towards progress.

Female entrepreneurs in Barcelona

Women in Barcelona

Other organizations for women in Barcelona

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