The pram march hopes to bring focus on the problem of maternal mortality and is organised by the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (Riksförbundet för sexuell upplysning – RFSU) and the Unite for Women campaign.
The march will assemble at 12pm in Kungsträdgården in central Stockholm and finish at the Riksdag – Sweden’s parliament. The aid minister Gunilla Carlsson will be on hand to accept RFSU’s demand for the government to act on the issue.
“My hope with this campaign is not only that we break the record in pram marching but that we also in the longer term contribute to save women’s lives,” RFSU secretary-general Åsa Regnér said in statement.
RFSU states that over 500,000 women die each year in connection with pregnancy, childbirth and unsafe abortions. 99 percent of these deaths occur in developing countries.
Elsewhere in the city various parties and events will be held to mark March 8th including memorial demonstrations for Pela and Fadime – two young women who were murdered by relatives in so-called honour killings.
On the lighter side of life Sweden’s female stand-up elite will be entertaining at Wallmans Intiman from 7.30pm. ABF are arranging a full day of seminars, together with Amnesty International, and the Museum of National Antiquities will be marking the day will a performance of “Seven” – a play about women’s rights activists from across the globe.
International Women’s Day has its roots in the USA around 1911 but, until its re-discovery by the political left in the late 1960s, was celebrated mostly in Eastern bloc countries.
The philosophical background to the day was laid in foundational tracts by Maria Wollstonecraft and John Stuart Mill that helped with the establishment of universal suffrage after the Second World War.
In Sweden it has been a major event since the early seventies and has long since broken its exclusively left wing status, with March 8th celebrations accepted and uncontroversial across the political spectrum.