|the girls in their International Women's Day dresses...|
Happy International Women's Day!
We're celebrating by drinking mimosas & coffee, listening to Patti Smith cover Nirvana, attempting to make monkey bread, and hanging out with friends while the mamas have the day off. All the little girls are wearing their new couture, of course. Elias showed his support by gathering armfuls of flowers for everyone.
Mama Vida is a member of the Woman's Federation for World Peace. She was planning on going to a meeting of her organization, where their surprise matching uniforms would be revealed. Later - they are marching.
Mama NuNu is hanging out at home today. When I chatted with her, she told me that she has reservations about International Women's Day. She claims a more conservative view on women's roles and feels that it is inappropriate for "women to be out in the bars, drinking beers and dressed all fancy on this day." She feels uncomfortable about woman wanting to march for equality and autonomy, "because men and women aren't equal!" she said, simply. She went on to say that she felt that the woman's role was in the home and that it was embarrassing for "women to be demanding to work in an office." There, we found a little common ground - talking about how mothers are responsible to teach the next generation about peace, education, and respect. But - it was obvious to both of us that our views are quite divergent.
Interestingly, Tchic (the fabled French teacher from the "pants" comment), also thinks Women's Day is a bit of a farce. But, for the opposite reason as NuNu. He thinks that the DRC does need women in offices, the government, as store owners, etc. but that International Women's Day is more of a meaningless gesture of placation than anything that will actually help involve women in the future of Congo. Tchic's a bit of a radical, obviously.
Mama YouYou perhaps said it best.
Elias was sad and whining about the lack of an "International Boy's Day," Mama YouYou said to him, without even looking up from her sewing, "Little boy, every other day is Boy's Day. March 8th is the one day we have."