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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in the Netherlands Series at DutchPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Dutch holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 25, International Women’s Day. In Dutch, it's called [Internationale Vrouwendag].
On March 8, a wide variety of women's groups and women's organizations in the Netherlands celebrate International Women's Day, or [Internationale Vrouwendag] in Dutch.
In this lesson, you’ll learn how Dutch people celebrate this day.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question?
Who was the first Dutch woman or [vrouw], to study at a university?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
The purpose of International Women’s Day is to draw attention to issues such as women’s economic independence, sexual violence, discrimination, and sexism. The heated strikes that used to define this day are now a thing of the past, but advocates still do vie for media attention. The first occurrence of strikes, or [stakingen] took place on March 8, 1908 in New York, when women took to the streets to protest, or [protesteren] the poor labor conditions of the textile industry. This day set a precedent for women of many cultures around the globe.
Did you know that women in the Netherlands were legally barred from participating in politics, public administration, and matters relating to schools or universities for centuries? Work performed by women was generally either unacknowledged or left unnoticed, not being considered ‘real’ work. However, the Netherlands has since become a paragon for women’s emancipation.
A major shift in attitude towards women can be seen in the makeup of the population during and just after the World Wars. As men went off to the army, or [leger] in Dutch, most workforces suffered a severe lack of labor. Women stepped up to fill this hole, and were disinclined to give up their newly-found freedom and independence once the war had finished. Feminism, or [feminisme] in Dutch, even helped define fashion trends at the time, as women preferred practical hairstyles that were more fitting for the work they now participated in.
In the Netherlands, the ratio of men to women is almost even, with the population being 49.5% male and 50.5% female.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Who was the first Dutch woman or [vrouw], to study at a university?
Aletta Jacobs or [Aletta Jacobs] was the first woman in the Netherlands to attend college, beginning her medical studies in order to become a doctor in 1871. This pivotal moment in history marks the beginning of the women's emancipation movement.
What did you think of this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Is International Women's Day celebrated in your country as well?
Leave us your comments on DutchPod101.com, and we'll see you in another series. Bye for now.