Thai women call for more benefits; Italian museums free for a day

(Thai News Agency and CNN) – On this International Women’s Day Thai women workers networks urged the government to increase paid maternity leave from 90 to 120 days while also giving their husbands paid 30 days off to take care of the baby, Thai News Agency said today (March 8).

Over a thousand women from Women Workers Unity Group and other such organizations covering both formal and informal workers held activities to mark International Women’s Day at CAT Telecom Plc’s hall.

Nilaimon Montreekan, president of Women Workers Unity Group said her group would like the government to support ILO’s Maternity Protection Convention No.183 and increase maternity leave from 90 to 120 days with full pay while both private sector and state enterprises should allow men to take 30-day full pay leave to take care of their wife and new born child.

The government was also urged to compensate for the drop in income of informal women workers after giving birth to a child on par with formal workers.

Also being requested is child support from first born till six years of age and encouraging women to undergo tests for breast and cervical cancer free of charge.

Moreover they also asked that the government set up nurseries for pre-school age children nationwide and also ensure equal gender representation on all boards while declaring International Women’s day a Thai public holiday.

Meanwhile according to CNN, Italy this year is upping the ante on the International Women’s Day, which is known as Festa Della Donna, by giving all women free admission to museums and cultural sites throughout the country, from famous landmarks like Florence’s Uffizi as well as ancient historical sites like Pompeii.

Italy’s Ministry of Cultural Heritage announced in 2017 that the project, known as “8 Marzo al Museo” (March 8 at the Museum) would “celebrate the feminine world.”

And it’s not just about free museum entry – the cultural institutions are making a point to feature both work from female artists and pieces that celebrate notable women, including “saints and prostitutes, goddesses and commoners, intellectuals and artists, actresses and martyrs, writers and poets, mothers, Madonnas and revolutionaries.”

So if you can’t simply hop on a plane to Italy to take advantage of the free tickets, all’s not lost: Museitani, the official Instagram account of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, has been featuring some female-centric works of art, all chosen by some of the country’s top curators, on its account.

Festa Della Donna is commonly marked in Italy with gifts of yellow mimosa flowers, a tradition which began after World War II. It’s also fashionable to incorporate the bright yellow color into clothing, jewelry, or even cakes every March 8.

However, the holiday has its roots in political activism.

The first one was marked in New York City in 1909 as a way to call attention to dangerous working conditions many women faced, specifically in the garment industry.

This year, many American women will walk off the job on March 8 as part of the “A Day Without a Woman” protest, which addresses the wage gap and other inequalities faced by women in the workplace.


Top: The Uffizi is the most-visited museum in Italy. Photo: CNN

SOURCE: Thai News Agency and CNN’s Lilit Marcus




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