The world celebrates the 8th of March as International Women’s Day, and it has been doing so since 1911; the first gathering for International Women’s Day.
"The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights."
– said, Gloria Steinem, a world-renowned feminist, journalist and activist.
On that day, Pecs raised its voice to be heard, and its students gathered to share stories, words of wisdom and talk feminism. An open mic event was organized by no other than a group of women who study here at the University of Pecs.
In collaboration with the day, our favorite bar ‘Nappali’ hosted us in its living room and made the whole setting feel just like at home, and if you did not know, the icing on the cake was that the current three managers of Nappali are all women.
Here Aidai Anarbek, one of the organizers for the Open Mic event shares her thoughts:
“This event had an intention to gather like-minded people to share experiences and knowledge; to discuss gender inequality and importance of feminism in fighting injustice, misogyny, femicides and etc. and more importantly to provide a safe space for all self-identifying women to freely express their opinions, share personal stories and speak up for their own rights.
We did not expect that so many people would be interested in joining us. I personally did not expect so many people would resonate with our idea. There was a special indescribable ambience all thanks to continuous performances with feminist speeches, excerpts from texts, songs and poems that, you guys made us happy with.”
The Diverse Youth Network were guests in our evening. Their representatives gave us a short talk on the values of the network and their aims. Moreover, they also introduced their publication of the first Roma Magazine celebrating successful Roma Hungarian Women. Last but not least, they also advertised and invited us to the Freedom Of My Identity: Human Rights festival and the first Pecs Pride parade this May.
After the introductions ended, the stage was for anyone to take and talk.
Lujain describes herself as the most hardcore feminist out there and she claims that
“All the women in me are exhausted.”
She was the first speaker to brave the stage and talk about feminism. In short, she tells us that all she wants is to be able to live in a world where she could depend on herself. Other speakers shared stories about their mothers and the world they live in and the hardships they still go through to this day.
This event has served its purpose of encouraging voices to speak. Many of our speakers did not prepare or expect themselves to speak, however, together we learned that perhaps every woman has gone through something and them speaking up ratified their strengths.
The evening seamlessly flowed.
Young women encouraged each other to get up on stage and share heartfelt stories about the strong women in their lives.
Some beautifully performed their favorite empowering songs, and others recited poems that hit deep in our hearts.
What made such an event so powerful and important is the wonderful spirit we students share, even if from different backgrounds, our common goals are to aim towards a feminist and equal world.
Written by Joseph Hazeen
Photos: Pál Zsombor