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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Coalition invites all to march on March 8

The march on Friday, March 8, will start at 3:30 p.m. in Hato Rey at the Office of the Women’s Advocate and proceed to the State Elections Commission.

By The Star Staff

The March 8 Coalition of Puerto Rico is calling on all people on the island to participate in a march that will take place on Friday, March 8, starting at 3:30 p.m. in Hato Rey at the Office of the Women’s Advocate (OPM by its Spanish initials) and proceeding to the State Elections Commission (SEC).

“In 1974, the first autonomous feminist organization in Puerto Rico, Mujer Intégrate Ahora (MIA), founded in 1972, organized an activity in commemoration of International Women’s Day, on March 8, and since then it has been held uninterruptedly in Puerto Rico,” psychologist Alice Pérez Fernández said in a written statement. “MIA fought for equality (wages, education, rights), as well as for the autonomy and sexual and reproductive emancipation of women. They were pioneers in the fight for the legality of abortion and the decriminalization of prostitution. In 1972, a group of brave women belonging to the Women’s Front of the Puerto Rican Independence Party had also organized an initial activity. We believe that it is important to recover the history of these events and their legacy because the struggles of women from that time remain significant today.”

Pérez Fernández said the march route from the OPM to the SEC was chosen because it signifies the assertion of women’s political power.

Angelica Acosta Buono, a union organizer, pointed out that “in order to generate the changes in public and prevention policy necessary to stop the growing numbers of femicides and violence against women, we need, among other things, education with a gender perspective and people in government who are committed to effectively addressing this problem.”

“From the perspective of women’s human rights, government institutions have the duty to protect and guarantee safety and life,” she said. “With our march we affirm our political power and demand that these institutions fulfill their duty because currently they do not do so.”

So far in 2024, there have been 19 femicides, according to data from the Gender Equality Observatory.

“Each one of these lives lost due to gender violence demonstrates the lack of commitment and inability of the current government,” Acosta Buono said.

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