- In a bizarre speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin has commended Russian women for being “beautiful, bright, and charming” on International Women’s Day.
- Putin, appearing on state TV, praised women’s ability “to cope with everything at work, and take care of the family.”
- “This spring day is always full of flowers and gifts, lit up with the joy of our women and your shining smiles,” he said on Friday.
- In preparation for the celebration, Putin cantered on horses Thursday with a group of female police officers.
- Women’s rights in Russia took a blow in 2017 when the country’s parliament decriminalized domestic violence that didn’t cause serious harm.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has celebrated International Women’s Day with an over-the-top address in which he applauded Russian women as “beautiful, bright, and charming.”
To the women of Russia, Putin said in a state TV address: “You manage everything at work and at home and stay beautiful, bright, and charming.”
«Вы успеваете все и на работе, и дома и остаетесь красивыми, яркими, очаровательным»: Владимир Путин поздравил российских женщин с 8 марта pic.twitter.com/9rQmBii7tO
— Дмитрий Смирнов (@dimsmirnov175) March 8, 2019
“We, men, must say frankly that it is not always easy for us to be worthy of you,” he said.
“But we will be striving for that and do everything for the women to feel our strong reliable shoulder, to feel that we always appreciate and love you, and not just on holidays.
“My best greetings on International Women’s Day. This spring day is always full of flowers and gifts, lit up with the joy of our women and your shining smiles.”
Putin also praised the ability of Russian women “to cope with everything at work and take care of the family.”
More broadly, Russian state news channels focused their International Women’s Day coverage on men buying flowers for women, BBC Monitoring reported.
Putin spent Thursday riding horses with a group of female police officers.
Putin raised eyebrows in his 2017 address commemorating the day when he praised women for “always being on time.”
For the 2019 edition of International Women’s Day, a Russian army recruitment office published a photo shoot to celebrate it – one that didn’t feature any of the 45,000 women serving in the country’s armed forces.
Instead, the photos showed ballerinas posing with male soldiers in combat clothing with machine guns, the Associated Press reported.
Russia’s women’s-rights record has come under close scrutiny in the past. In 2017, the Russian parliament decriminalized domestic violence that didn’t cause serious harm.
The US first observed a “National Woman’s Day” on February 28, 1909, and the modern iteration, International Women’s Day, is celebrated on March 8 every year.
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