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The Minister of Culture, Dr Asta Vrečko, on 8 March

On 8 March, we celebrate one of the most important holidays, Women’s Day, which stands for courage, determination and the pursuit of solidarity and equality. It has been celebrated for over a hundred years, and marks the struggle for a world in which people can live with dignity and equality, whatever their circumstances.

Minister of Culture Asta Vrečko | Author Nebojša Tejić/STA

Each year on 8 March we pay tribute to all the women who have fought this fight before us. This day is an opportunity for us to remember our grandmothers who fought against fascism, against patriarchy, and against oppression of all kinds. To remember all those before us who did not allow themselves to be silenced, but demanded equality. Equality in their workplaces and equality in their homes. All those who refused to let the fate of their bodies be decided by anyone other than themselves. These were the women activists who made it possible for us to live better today, although unfortunately still without full equality.

Our society is still riddled with sexism and systemic discrimination, due to various inequalities and abuses of power. We still face inequalities in working conditions, domestic violence, femicide and the oppression of difference or otherness.

Fortunately, we are also living in an extremely important historical moment, when more and more people are saying NO to oppression, including in the field of culture. NO to violence. NO to abuse. Increasing numbers of people are coming together to build a community of solidarity.

Let 8 March be a reminder to all of us that rights, solidarity and equality are not a given, but something to be pursued every day. Let this day remind us that we should defend the rights we have won, and continue to strive for equality for all.