08 March 2021

International Women's Day


India Post celebrates International Women's Day

8 March 2021

Special covers on International Women's Day 2021 have been issued by different circles of India Post .






Image Credits : Philately Promoters , EIPA Whatspp group

Stamps on Famous women released today 

Date of Issue : 8 March 2021

Andrea Arting

She was a small, slightly fragile-looking elderly lady in a hat and coat, who smiled kindly and greeted when we met her in the city. Andrea Árting, one of the truly great figures of the Faroese labour movement - a woman with very strong opinions on social matters, never hesitating in speaking truth to power.

A Socialist Employer

Andrea had a good relationship with the family, especially her foster father. Elias í Rættará was active politically and culturally - and something of a paradoxical figure at the time. Although he was an employer with many employees working for him, his views and ideals were socialist in nature.

There is no doubt that Elias í Rættará influenced the political attitudes of his children, and particularly Andrea, shaping her social consciousness and sense of justice. Politics and social conditions were frequent topics in his home and reading materials were at hand on these issues.

Fish and Tuberculosis

At the age of 14, Andrea finished school. She was a proficient and gifted student and the teachers recommended that she attend teachers’ training courses. However, she did not have the means to embark on time-consuming studies - instead she started working in the fishing industry. At the age of 17, Andrea was afflicted with tuberculosis, the great scourge of the time, and spent almost two years at the Sanatorium just outside Tórshavn.

A Maid in Copenhagen

After her release from the sanatorium, around 1911, Andrea travelled to Denmark, where she worked as a maid in Copenhagen for the next six years. At that time, Danish women fought for their civil and political rights and when Andrea returned to Tórshavn in 1917, she was inspired by the Danish women's struggle for equality. She was convinced that women were as capable as men - and she wanted to do away with the restraints and prejudices against her own sex.

A Captain's Wife and Poet

In 1922 Andrea married Jóhannes Árting from Toftir, whom she had met a few years before. Jóhannes was a ship’s captain, sailing with Faroese and foreign ships and was often away for months at a time. They had four children together and Andrea now became a housewife taking care of the children's upbringing. In the following years, she became involved in the budding national movement and taught herself to write Faroese. She also started writing poems, the most famous being, "Dunandi aldan mot klettunum brúsar," (Surging waves against solid rocks), also composing the song. The subject of the poem is the Faroese nation’s difficult and dangerous relationship with its means of livelihood, the treacherous ocean.

Fate Knocks at the Door

Andrea‘s domestic situation was excellent. She was now in her forties, happily married to a captain, a homemaker and a part of Tórshavn's better-off bourgeoisie. However, she could not close her eyes to what was happening around her.

The worldwide financial crisis of the 1930s also hit the Faroe Islands with the force of a sledgehammer. Fish exports declined to almost nothing and the thirties were marked by widespread unemployment and social distress across the country. In Tórshavn, unemployment rose to almost 70%. Wages were low and the unions were under pressure. Working women were the lowest paid group of all. While the men earned one krona an hour for a workday of 8 hours, the women received less than a third, only 30 øre, per hour and their workday was 12 hours’ hard work for starvation pay. No unemployment insurance existed in those days and Parliament was not willing to implement any such changes.

In 1936, working women in the Tórshavn formed a union “Havnar Arbeiðskvinnufelag” (Tórshavn's Working Women's Association) in a desperate attempt to alleviate their miserable working conditions. However, things did not turn out in their favour, as might be expected. Employers put pressure on the board members and the chairwoman, threatening not only unemployment, but also reduction of the credit most people had the shops and affairs of their employers. Many of these women were also married to labourers and fishermen who had the same employer and they risked adverse consequences for the women's struggle. The only option for anguished women was to find a leader who had the courage of her opinions and would not accept being put under pressure.

Then one day in 1937 there was a knock at Andrea Árting's door.

Without any hesitation or reservation, Andrea accepted the offer of becoming the chairwoman of the women’s association. Although personally, she did not lack for anything, she had ample knowledge and understanding of these working women's miserable conditions and exhausting everyday life. She herself had experienced these conditions in her youth. Loud sighs must have escaped the lips of some Faroese employers the next morning when it was rumoured that Andrea was now in charge of the Working Women‘s Association.

A Short Process

Andrea received her baptism of fire during the wage negotiations the following year. Virtually all working women in Tórshavn's fishing industry had now joined the workers' association. They now informed the employers' association of their demands of wage increases and shorter working hours. When the employers refused, Andrea and her associates announced a one-day strike and informed their workplaces that no one would show up for work the next day. A conciliator was summoned and negotiations began. When the employers undercut their demands, the women, according to Andreas' own statements, demanded more. Shortly afterwards, the employers accepted an increase in hourly wages from 30 to 40 øre and reduction of working hours from 12 to 11 hours.

Equal pay for equal work

This is when we find Andrea Árting’s first statements about equal pay for equal work published in the newspapers for the first time. Although the women had won their first small victory, it was far below the men’s level. They received more than twice as much hourly pay and a three hours shorter workday. And the men's conditions were not in the least enviable. It would take 40 years for equal pay for men and women to become a reality – and when that finally happened Andrea Árting was still the chairwoman of Tórshavn’s Working Women’s Association.

The War and the Unions

At the beginning of World War II, British troops occupied the Faroe Islands without objection by the Faroese people. The British occupation and the war in general, presented challenges for the working class and the trade unions. There was work to be had for most people, but the high cost of living and acute shortages of goods pushed prices up and made it difficult for the working class to make ends meet. The unions were not able to use their main weapons – strikes, for example, were forbidden.

Under these difficult circumstances, Andrea Árting demonstrated her social-political capabilities. She proposed early price regulations against profit-making efforts during the war. This proposal was rejected by politicians but implemented later in the war. Andrea struggled to provide cheaper coal for households and more milk for families with children around the country, along with clothing and shoes for the most vulnerable children. If you cannot do things on a grand scale, you must content yourself with smaller achievements.

In 1943, the Social Democrats presented the proposal closest to Andreas' heart in the Faroese Parliament, equal pay for equal work. It was rejected by the conservative parties with the old excuse that this was a matter for the labour market partners.

The 50’s Financial Crisis and Withholding Tax

The optimism and financial upswing right after the war ended abruptly. Investment in old-fashioned steam trawlers from Britain proved to be a catastrophic mistake at a time when coal prices were suddenly soaring. Sjóvinnubankin, the bank that had financed a part of the adventure, crashed and society was once again on its knees. Unemployment skyrocketed and many had to leave home - even moving abroad to seek their luck elsewhere.

Up through the fifties, the women's association was involved in many conflicts, but strike funds were empty and the resistance strong. They threw, however, their unconditional support behind the fishermen in the great fishing strike in 1954. Concerned about the finances of its members, Andrea Árting put forward a radical proposal for withholding tax, which would help ordinary workers from the backlog, which was so troublesome for many. The proposal did not receive political support, but once again Andrea was far ahead of her time. The withholding tax was first introduced in the 80s.

Up through the sixties and seventies, Andea Árting was the "Grand Old Lady" of the Faroese labour unions. In addition to her position as chair of Tórshavn's Working Women's Association, she was also a board member of Føroya Arbeiðarafelag – The Faroese Labour Union.

Equal Pay for Equal Work – At Last!

Andrea Árting's lifelong dream was finally fulfilled with the labour market wage negotiations in 1977. During tough negotiations with the now 85-year-old trade union leader at the head of the workers' representatives, the employers finally agreed to equal pay for equal work. The hourly wages were increased incrementally year by year until reaching that of men in 1981.

At the general meeting of the Women’s Association later in 1977, Andrea Árting resigned as the union‘s chairwoman after 40 years of faithful service. The members expressed their gratitude in a resolution granting her full pay for the rest of her life.

Andrea Árting died on May 30, 1988. She reportedly followed with interest social developments and debates until she finally passed way.

The stamp in honour of Andra Árting will be issued on the international Women’s Day 8 March 2021.

Simone De Beauvoir

Date of Issue : 8 March 2021

Simone De Beauvoir

"Simone de Beauvoir, born January 9, 1908 in Paris, conquered in her youth, against her bourgeois background," the difficult glory of free existence. "In 1929, admitted to the agrégation in philosophy, she met Jean-Paul Sartre "Absolute brotherhood", unclassifiable, their union will last 51 years. From 1945, they face the fires of celebrity together.

Love for life and passion for truth nourish her vocation to write: novelist with L'Invitée, Les Mandarins (Prix Goncourt 1954) or Les Inséparables, autobiographer with the rich collection of her Memoirs and Une mort très douce, she is a theorist. with his essays The Second Sex or The Old Age. She is also a diarist, playwright, author of travel chronicles, and a very great letter writer (Letters to Sartre, to Bost, to Nelson Algren). Founder with Sartre of the review Les Temps Modernes, she is involved in most of the liberating causes of the 20th century, taking sides against the colonial wars: Indochina, Algeria, Vietnam. Since The Second Sex has become the inspiration for feminists around the world, she shows solidarity with their actions.

She knew not to sacrifice the private for the public, taking on an infinite price the intimacy of love, of friendship. Generous, open, she has maintained an abundant correspondence with her readership. A great walker, and tireless traveler to the end - I accompanied her for 26 years - her curiosity never died out. It is the Beauvoirian tone, her rare talent, in speaking of oneself, of speaking about others, as "word of mouth", of "communicating in what separates us", that explains the immense influence of Simone de Beauvoir. It is not surprising that a very long, emotional procession accompanied his funeral on April 19, 1986.

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