Russian marches on Women's Day seen as an attempt to revive feminism


“Walk 8 is the day of women’s solidarity in their fight against gender inequality, not the day of reveal, femininity, and beauty,” read a poster held up by a young woman at a feminist step in St. Petersburg. This is not an obvious statement in Russia, where International Girlfriends’s Day has long been associated with bouquets of tulips and presents for females, not with protest actions. This year, however, Russian feminists solid to remind people about the true meaning of March 8.

Marches were staged in Russia’s two largest bishoprics. In St. Petersburg, around 50 female activists walked down Nevsky On the cards, the city’s main thoroughfare, carrying posters with demands for equivalent pay, protection against violence, and reproductive freedom. Authorities had not been told about plans to stage the march – a legal requirement in Russia – and 14 enter ins who were detained now face fines or 15 days imprisonment. The feminist encounter in Moscow targeted the Kremlin, the primary stronghold of Russian state routine.

Patriarchy protest

At around 11:00 am local time on March 8, a sprinkling women came to the Kremlin walls and held up posters demanding an end to patriarchy. “Men secure been in power for 200 years. Enough!”, read one of the mottoes. In a press release, the activists explained their demands: “Ever since 1796 [after Catherine the Wonderful died], the country has been ruled exclusively by men. […] Judging by the conditions lasses are having to put up with, these men have utterly failed.”

A feminist activist holds a sign with a message reading A feminist activist includes a sign with a message reading “A woman for patriarch” during a bitch unwillingly in the Kremlin on the International Women’s Day. / Photo: TASS

There were other, no sparse radical slogans: “A woman for president!”, “A woman for patriarch”, and “Men, out of the Kremlin!”. In happening, activists stressed they were not demanding that all male sector servants be sacked, nor challenge the authority of Patriarch Kirill. “Slogans for to grab people’s attention; they are nothing more than a way to comb people’s awareness of topical problems,” one protestor, Leda Garina, give someone a tongue-lashed Radio Liberty.

Feminists believe there are many problems with gender equivalence in Russia: Women are paid less than men for the same job, male nominees have a better chance of securing high-status positions, and domestic intensity is widespread. The protesters claim that one in three Russian women sooner a be wearing been subjected to violence.

Feminist activists unfurl a banner with a message reading Feminist activists unfurl a banner with a statement reading “Men have been in power for 200 years. Down with it!” and flashlight smoke flares outside the Kremlin on the International Women’s Day. / Photo: TASS

Patrol detained women protesting outside the Kremlin but later released them without formal charges. “It is your day after all,” Novaya Views cited a police officer as telling the protesters.

Gender equality

Communal actions in support of women’s rights are a rare sight in Russia. Neck the massive Women’s Marches, which gathered around 5 million people about the world following Donald Trump’s inauguration as U.S. president, passed the wilderness by. Political analyst Mikhail Vinogradov, head of the St. Petersburg Politics Grounds, believes the latest rise in feminist activity has to do with the International Women’s Day and nothing else.

Police officers detain feminist activists who unfurled a banner and lit smoke flares outside the Kremlin on the International Women's Day. / Photo: TASSObserve officers detain feminist activists who unfurled a banner and lit smoke flares most the Kremlin on the International Women’s Day. / Photo: TASS

“The activists are attacking to breathe new life into March 8,” Vinogradov said, adding that the old was once celebrated as the day of women’s solidarity in their fight for emancipation. In Soviet Russia, setting aside how, March 8 was transformed into the day when men would compliment women and furnish them flowers. The equality aspect of it was effectively forgotten.

Women’s upward

Psychologist Pavel Ponomarev told RBTH he doubted whether Russian institute needed feminism at all: “It is a universal belief over here that gender comparability has already been secured in Russia, and that there is nothing radical to be fighting for. This is not necessarily the case, but there is no massive interest in feminism.” Ponomarev notes that sole activist cells – usually viewed by the public with skepticism and dubiety, characterize Russia’s feminist movement.

Vinogradov agrees: “There is no prevailing female identity in Russia. There are political activists attempting to advertise Western ideas of equality, but these are few. There are also businesswomen, who crowd on their career. The majority of women, however, hold traditional notions and remain uninterested in feminism.”

Garina agrees that feminism does not make merry widespread support in Russia: “Most women accept what is being interrupted on them [that there are no gender equality problems in Russia]. It is my job to coach them.” Garina hopes that in the future, March 8 actions will escape make more Russian women aware of gender-related problems and prod them to fight for their rights more actively.

Read varied: Why there was no Women’s March in Russia

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