Why Is The Purple Ribbon The Symbol Of International Women’s Day?

This March 8, the streets are dyed purple to demand equality among all people and to claim the rights of working women.

Many “international days“, movements or diseases have their own colored ribbons to commemorate their day. For example, the day against is represented by a pink ribbon, the world day against AIDS is characterized by red ribbons, or when there is mourning, black ribbons are used.

On this International Women's Day, March 8, it is common to see people attending demonstrations wearing purple, sporting a purple scarf or carrying purple elements on their banners. Even social posts with 8M creatives have purple tones in their designs and the now customary purple ribbon. This purple ribbon is also used on November 25, the Day against Gender Violence.

What does the use of a purple bow mean? First of all, the color purple comes from the mixture of the primary colors blue and red. Purple is associated with royalty, luxury, liturgical colors, power, wisdom, and magic. In a more psychological meaning, we could say that the color purple is the between red, an intense and energetic color, and blue, a calm and stable color.

There are several theories about it

To understand why this color was chosen to represent the feminist and equality movement, we have to weigh several theories. One of them has to do with the aforementioned color theory. It is said that purple comes from mixing the color blue, representing men, and pink, the color assigned to women. Mixing them gives purple, which means equality, the essential principle of feminism.

Mixing blue and pink gives purple, the symbol of equality.

Another story explaining the use of the color purple on Women's Day, with a more ominous tinge, occurred at the origins of the feminist movement. On March 25, 1911, a fire broke out in the Triangle Shirtwaist fabric factory in New York. More than 100 women were working there at night. Because of the unearthly hours, the factory owners had locked the entrances to prevent theft. What was prevented was the escape route for the women, who died inside or by throwing themselves out of the windows.

The purple color came because it is said that the smoke given off by the fire was purple due to the dyes used in the fabrics. Days later, feminist protests arose due to the event, supporting those women workers who had died in the fire.

Finally, there is another theory to explain the use of the color purple to represent the struggle for equality. For this we must go back to the year 1908, at the height of the English suffragette movement. The British suffragettes chose the colors purple, green and white to represent their movement. They were asking for their right to vote as women

It is said that Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence (1867), British activist, explained in an interview to the newspaper ‘Votes for Women‘, that “the color purple, the color of sovereigns, symbolizes the royal blood that runs through the veins of each suffragette, symbolizes her consciousness of freedom and dignity. White represents honesty and purity in private and political life. And green, the hope for a new beginning and the emblem of spring.” Moreover, if we take into account the initials of these three colors (green, white, violet), GWV refers to the suffragist slogan “Give Women Votes“.

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