Period & Suffrage: Celebrating International Women’s Day!

The United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and World Peace, or International Women’s Day for short, will be celebrated for the 110th time in 2021. It sets an example for equal rights for all women* and against violence against women*. This year, under the motto Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world, 8 March celebrates all the important milestones of the last centuries and decades; in other words, everything that has brought the feminist movement forward so far.

International Women’s Day has its origins in the women’s workers’ movement of the 19th and 20th centuries – first proposed by the German socialist politician and women’s rights activist Clara Zetkin at the Second International Socialist Women’s Conference in Copenhagen in 1910. We have come a long way since then.

Here is a little insight into the stations we have mastered so far:

  • 1921: This year, International Women’s Day will be celebrated for the first time on 8 March.
  • The 20s and 30s: Short hair and trouser suits revolutionize women’s fashion.
  • 1946: Itsy-bitsy-teenie-weenie! – the bikini is invented in France.
  • 1971: 374 women confess in Stern magazine “We had an abortion!” – including famous personalities such as Romy Schneider.
  • 1976: Men are allowed to take their wife’s surname and the first “house for battered women” opens in Berlin
  • 1977: the housewife marriage is abolished
  • 1980: The Act on Equal Treatment in the Workplace is passed in the Bundestag
  • 1997: FINALLY marital rape is a punishable offence
  • 2001: the “registered partnership” becomes law in Germany
  • 2005: Angela Merkel becomes the first female Federal Chancellor
  • 2010: German Telekom introduces women’s quota, setting the ball rolling
  • 2016: the sexual offense law is reformed → even a spoken “no” means “no
  • 2017: homosexual couples are finally allowed to marry
  • 2017: Plan the #MeToo and the Time’s Up movement to bring the issue of sexualized violence back on the agenda
  • 2020: VAT on menstrual products is reduced to 7%, so they are no longer considered luxury items.
  • 2020: in Scotland, the parliament decides to make hygiene products such as sanitary towels and tampons available free of charge in public places
  • 2021: the Prime Minister of New Zealand decides to distribute free period products for schoolgirls to combat period poverty and improve attendance in schools

Nevertheless, we have to ask ourselves: have we achieved everything that the first trailblazers dreamed of?

Not by a long shot!
The pandemic year set us back quite a bit in terms of equality. In the home office, it was mainly women* who had to take care of the children. Studies show that compared to the time before Corona, mothers now work fewer hours.

But not only that: apart from the actual working hours, statistically proven they also take on a large part of the emotional burdens and tasks in the household – i.e. the majority of the so-called Mental load. It is these invisible tasks and the fact of being responsible for everything that can even lead to burnout-like symptoms in many women*. A long series of planning and coordination processes is attached to almost all daily to-dos, whether household or family-related and despite all the modern possibilities, the crisis of the last year makes inequality structures that were thought to have been overcome revive all the more strongly; for example, the debate about childless women. If women don’t want children, they are career-driven and callous – housewives, on the other hand, are not ambitious enough, boring and rely only on their husbands.
These prejudices are just another example of how hard it is for women to please society. No matter how you look at it, we are still far from real equality.

Good News

With all the fronts the feminist movement still has to fight on and all the prejudices that continue to exist, however, the milestones achieved so far cannot be dismissed. Women today can pursue any dream job they want – go into space, cure a disease, start a business, be a mother and a professional – or neither. There have never been so many women in leadership positions, never so many women founders or women in academic professions as today. And yet: unfortunately, some problems are not so easily dispelled.

We all know what it’s like healthy cooking, time for work and family, reducing waste, and attention! your period is just around the corner, oh and condoms are empty too. Menstruation, like sexuality, is still a taboo subject – but why, when both are quite natural? People often talk about how disgusting periods are, that they make you emotionally unstable and weak. These prejudices make many menstruators feel insecure. So it’s all the better that there are now many people who are educating people and taking this topic out of the taboo zone. Another big factor that causes headaches for menstruators is sustainability. In our modern world, it concerns us more and more. Because – who would have thought it – households with menstruating people generate a lot of waste during their periods. Possible eco-friendly periods products like the menstrual cup or period underwear open up a new, easy way to reduce waste and still feel protected during your period. However, these alternatives are not for everyone. So for tampon and pad lovers, the question is: How do we reconcile sustainability and comfort during periods?

The company einhorn provides a remedy. They have made it their mission to make hectic everyday life and the first steps towards more sustainability easier.
With einhorn’s easy online shopping option, we no longer have to worry about supplies on the bathroom shelf, because shopping at the drugstore doesn’t have to be squeezed into an already packed daily routine. And colorfully packaged products can also help when it comes to environmental friendliness. They are made of 100% certified organic cotton and organic plastic made from corn starch. This means there is no plastic or viscose, which is also gentle and kind to the skin. So it’s great for your body and for the planet.

The company gives menstruating people the opportunity to feel safe and secure during their periods and sex (there are also great condoms at einhorn!) – and to do something good for nature at the same time.

We are thrilled that on this International Women’s Day, together with the Berlin-based company einhorn, we can give away an all-round carefree package in combination with a sustainable notebook from our “Female Empowerment” collection.

You can find the competition on our Instagram account. Be sure to check it out!

So let’s use the day to become better allies, support the feminist movement, question social constructs, and educate ourselves – and if you also feel like a little empowerment on this 110th Women’s Day, check out our Instagram profile and enter our great competition. Or browse the Tara “Female Empowerment” or the Nari “Girl Power” collections directly in our shop.

Love, your matabooks girls💚