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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Women’s advocate building to be bathed in purple this month to mark Internat’l Women’s Day

The Office of the Women’s Advocate

By The Star Staff

As part of the commemoration of International Women’s Day 2024, which takes place every year on March 8, the headquarters of the Office of the Women’s Advocate, located at 161 Juan Ponce de León Avenue in San Juan, will be “painted” purple every day starting at 6 p.m. during this month.

The gesture is part of the Puerto Rico government’s public policy efforts to educate and raise awareness about the progress being made toward achieving the full advancement of women.

Acting Women’s Advocate Madeline Bermúdez Sanabria said the initiative is part of an agenda of events and educational workshops that will be promoted by her office, in alliance with organizations, schools, universities, municipalities and agencies throughout Puerto Rico during March to continue promoting and valuing the inclusion of women in all sectors and aspects of society.

The sociologist and attorney also urged parents, teachers, university professors and community leaders, as well as faith-based organizations, to take advantage of the occasion of International Women’s Day to talk to their children, students and the populations they serve about history, why the day was established and the challenges that women have had face to achieve their social, economic, cultural, educational and political rights as part of efforts to eradicate discrimination and promote gender equity, because these are efforts that benefit society as a whole.

“Every effort counts toward achieving the egalitarian society we aspire to,” Bermúdez Sanabria said. “Raising awareness and educating about the rights of our girls, young women and women is more relevant than ever to achieve their full development and eradicate any discrimination and violence against them.”

“Therefore, from [this office] we extend a call to all sectors to use the history of International Women’s Day as a starting point so that young people and all members of our communities understand the value of the efforts, struggles and achievements of women through the generations and the importance of everyone contributing to the development of an inclusive and egalitarian society,” the acting women’s advocate said.

The United Nations began observing International Women’s Day in 1975 and two years later it was officially proclaimed by its assembly. The day arose as a result of demonstrations by women who, at the beginning of the 20th century, demanded better working conditions for long working hours in factories, the right to vote and equality between the sexes. In the United States, a milestone that marked this history was the march of some 15,000 women in New York on Feb. 28, 1908. Meanwhile, in countries such as Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, the first International Women’s Day was celebrated in 1911.

Any victim of gender-based violence, workplace harassment or discrimination can call 787-722-2977 to seek free and confidential support, counseling and services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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