Change we wanted to bring was worth fighting

Reclaiming the 8th of March from a trivial celebration to a political struggle day was first discussed in 2011. That year, we hit the streets with a larger feminist protest on women’s reproductive and bodily rights for the first time.

The decision was logical because many of us had experienced the economic crisis, seen women working hard, while men played dominoes instead of taking care of the children. Many of us had women around us who went to Greece and Italy, sometimes traveling in the bus's luggage compartments, to provide for their families, while their husbands spent their hard-earned money on entertainment.

Despite all that, we were still told that men are the head of the family, that they should be obeyed. This is why we felt like the change we wanted to bring was worth fighting. If not us, who? Nothing special was happening at that time.

Some people moderately demanded an abortion ban. It was still embarrassing to buy condoms. Women in politics and power positions were not taken seriously, and there was no public opposition to sexism and homo/bi/transphobia. This is not surprising when women’s rights organizations were drowning in work and, on the other hand, depended on the State in the hope of reforms. For this reason, we decided to come out as a loose, informal initiative to help shape public opinion. We succeeded. After this first march, the Independent Group of Feminists took the shape of a collective, and we started discussing that we needed to reclaim the 8th of March.

Our fight was political, and the history of the 8th of March is political. It is not tied to a specific historical event but rather represents the voice of women’s movement throughout the history.

A lot has changed since this first demonstration. Ten years may not be too long, but when I look at the photos, I see a different person – an idealist, that hasn’t burned out yet, thinks that she can move mountains, has a vague understanding of what depression is, and does not believe that she will ever leave the country. I also see in those photos that people may change, but the fight remains the same. The only difference being, that the deeper we dig this dirt the worse kinds of well-hidden horrors we find. And we get angry and continue fighting.