|“Día de la Mujer is not a celebration but a day honoring all women, past and present. We march in the streets to pave the way for a better future for society. Each step, song, dance, and drum beat raise awareness of the abuses many women in our counties endure each day: rape, domestic violence, unequal pay, lack of body autonomy, unequal wages, murder, forced marriages, and silenced voices.Women from vastly different backgrounds, ideals, motives, and beliefs come together for the 8M march to share their stores, commemorate loved ones, search for the missing, and fight for equality, freedom, and safety.
The march in Santiago commenced with performances of song and dance. Deep drum beats bellowed through the streets, keeping rhythm with the heart of the event. Hoodie-clad and masked men cast stones into the crowd, yet participants marched on. Male protestors attempted to incite violence with the police, yet no riots broke out.
Children blew whistles and carried signs, while street vendors sold cotton candy, Venezuelan taquitos, completos, Haitian kebabs, and vegan sandwiches. The subtle smell of burning trash fires was almost a pleasant reprieve from the stinging odor of tear gas from previous years.
There were chants, selfies, smiles, tears, bare breasts, glitter, women helping fix each other’s makeup, teenagers jumping atop swaying bus stops, new mothers, and grandmothers.” – Alisha Lubben