2016 is the 105th celebration of Dia de la Mujer (International Women’s Day), a commemorative date established to give humanity pause to consider that men and women should have the same rights in society. The United Nations has set a goal of equality by the year 2030 – “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”.
Colombia has taken a dramatic leap forward in terms of gender equality, and both sexes are much closer now than ever before. The days of “machista” are history. Nowadays, women can work, study, and even run for president of the nation alongside men. There are still challenges, especially around pay equality; across Colombia, the gender wage gap is 14% versus 10% across the rest of Latin America.
Yesterday, the entire country celebrated and in cities like Barranquilla, there were several different activities. In the morning, at Parque Cultural del Caribe, there were some wonderful cultural performances including the beautiful folkloric choir, “Flores de Barranquilla” and then some words from First Lady, Katya Nule de Char and a few other officials. The event ran across the day and included a full tour of the museum. Barranquilla Life staff were present at the event, and the atmosphere was simply incredible. Hundreds of women of all ages and socio-economic levels were having fun, smiling, singing, and dancing together. It was a good time all around.
Another activity which ran throughout the day ocurred at Universidad Autónoma del Caribe. SENA managed a large-scale job-fair with more than 100 vacancies exclusively for women. When we arrived late in the day the event was coming to a close however we did manage to speak with some of the public.
Later on, in the evening, hundreds of people took part in “Mujeres Bici-bles Barranquilla”, a bicycling event held at two parks in the city specifically promoting gender equality, violence-free communities, and love and respect for all.