THIS year’s International Women’s Day on March 8 will be very different in Spain due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Castellon is no exception.

The massive demonstrations witnessed in all major towns and cities every year cannot go ahead this time – especially taking into account the trouble there was last year, when the right-wing opposition in the Spanish parliament accused the organisers and participants of triggering the COVID pandemic despite many other public events taking place at the same time throughout the country.

Far from cancelling, local organising committees are putting their heads together to prepare alternative ways to mark the highly significant date.

In Castellon Province, all acts scheduled so far will not be massive public displays, but rather symbolic events taking place mainly online and at home.

One suggestion is to display t-shirts with feminist messages from balconies and windows on March 8, while the ‘Castellon Violeta’ talks held by the women’s association in the capital city will continue online.

A scene from last year's 8-M march
A scene from last year’s 8-M march

The provincial delegation of Podemos is also calling on residents to decorate their terraces and windows with flags and banners, plus playing music and clapping to show support.

Feminist platforms such as the Associacio 8 de Març and Adona’t will share videos on social media to raise awareness about issues including gender violence and inequality.

Meanwhile, Castellon city council has launched a campaign focusing on housework and care duties, with the slogan ‘Helping is not to sharing: Co-responsibility’ featured on municipal buses.

The town hall has also announced a series of activities on internet social platforms, organised jointly by 12 women’s rights groups.

Similar online events have been announced by the local councils of Onda and the Vall d’Uixo, with others expected to follow suit.

Banners will be unfurled outside most town halls to mark the occasion, with mayors and councillors reading manifestos at certain key times.   

Exhibitions, concerts and theatre performances taking place after March 8 but related to the same issues continue as planned, COVID permitting.    

Check with your local town hall and Casa de Cultura to find out what is happening in your area.

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