I don't, but I would like to...
... have one cover or postcard with post mark from each post office from Faroe Islands.
They are not so many, but without you will not be possible.
I'm waiting your feedback... and of course I will support the cost deliveries or I'll send you back some nice cover with stamps from Portugal.

Please e-mail me for details...

Sunday, 3 April 2011

International Women's Day - 100 years

International Women's Day - 100 years
The first seeds for equal rights between men and women were sown in the 18th century. There had certainly been sporadic calls earlier, among others, from Christine de Pizan, who in 1405 challenged the female oppression in the society and argued that women and men had the same mental properties. But it was not before the ideas of Enlightenment about human equality and demands for general political, social and economic influence, that the demand for equality between men and women was made.

The First Wave
But half a century went by before there was enough structure behind the demand for improved equality.  In the early industrial age, working people lived under unspeakable social conditions, which did not exactly leave much room for the struggle for gender equality.  But in the second half of the nineteenth century, a series of political and social reforms were carried out, and more and more women became aware of their position in society and lack of rights.  Women started to organize around the demands for basic rights and demanded legal, economical, political and educational equality.

The most prominent demand was voting right for women.  In 1893 and 1902, women in New Zealand and Australia achieved the right to vote, but both Europe and the U.S. lagged behind in that respect.  In England and America the suffragette movement emerged, which demanded voting rights for women, but resistance was strong.  Political life was dominated by men and the establishment did not intend to let women have any influence in that area

Emmeline Pankhurst
The feeling of banging the head against a wall was finally too much for some women, who demanded more direct action against the established political system. In England for example, parts of the suffragette movement, lost the patience, and started to use more direct actions like interrupting political rallies, enter the parliament to deliver protests, smashing windows or by hunger strike. The picture on the stamp depicts one of the leaders of this movement, Emmeline Pankhurst, as she was arrested at a demonstration at Buckingham Palace in 1914. Emmeline Pankhurst's political orientation was originally social democratic, but in later years she went over to the Conservative party. She died in 1928.  Despite her militant methods, Emmeline Pankhurst is considered one of the most influential persons in the women's rights movements.

Clara Zetkin
The other woman on the stamp is also one of the pioneers of the women's movement.  Clara Zetkin (1857 - 1933) was an influential socialist politician from Germany. She was initially active in the Social Democratic Party (SPD), but later moved farther to the left and joined the Communist Party (KPD).  In her old age,  Zetkin was a member of the German Reichstag - and as the oldest Member of Parliament,  it was she who called upon the Germans to fight  National Socialism  in the opening speech in 1932.  When Hitler took power in 1933, Clara Zetkin fled to the Soviet Union, where she died later that year.

Throughout her career, Clara Zetkin active on the feminist front, and in 1907 she became head of the SPD's women's office.  In 1910, Clara Zetkin was elected as chairperson of the International Socialist Women's Association, and it was in this capacity that she, at a woman's Congress in Copenhagen the same year, called for the introduction of the International Women's Day.

Women's Day
The following year, in 1911, the first International Women's Day was celebrated in four countries, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland and Germany.  It was on the 19th March and the demands were female voting rights, improvement of women's working conditions - and rights to be hired as public servants. In the following years the day was celebrated on different dates, but in 1921 they decided on the 8th March.  In the twenties and thirties the day was mostly celebrated as a socialist Women's Day, and after World War II it fell more or less into oblivion.

Second wave
In the forties and fifties the women's movement was on the back burner and Women's Day was practically ignored. But in the sixties the movement got wind back in their sails. Now began a more systematic work to improve women's conditions and rights. While in the beginning of the century the struggle mostly concentrated on suffrage and basic rights, the demand of this second wave was complete emancipation and gender equality. Female emancipation changed the foundations of the Western World and was a powerful boost for women on the social, intellectual, political and individual level.

As part of the new women's movement, March 8th was reinstated as International Women's Day.  In connection with the International Women's Year in 1975, the United Nations recognized the day as International Women's Day.

Women's struggle is not over yet. There are still differences between men and women, both in our part and in the rest of the world. Fundamental rights such as equal wage for equal work, female equality in the workplace, political influence, access to education, and the right to decide over their own life, are just a few examples of areas where women have not yet achieved full equality. But hopefully the struggle continues, both on the 8th March and the rest of the year.

Anker Eli Petersen

Technical data:
Values: 10.00 DKK
Date of issue: 21-II-2011
Author: Anker Eli Petersen
Technique: Offset
Printer: OeSD, Austria

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