The many women lending their skills and endeavour to the preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ enjoyed a day to remember on Thursday 8 March as they celebrated International Women’s Day.

As well as receiving flowers and talks on women’s issues, they also availed themselves of beauty sessions laid on by professionals.

“I’m going to have the lot done: wash, cut, styling and make-up,” said Ana Claudia Fernandes, a civil servant in the personnel department at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte, as she surveyed the beauty salon set up especially for her and her female co-workers and which also laid on massages.

“Initiatives like this are a tribute to the Brazilian women of today, who enjoy taking care of themselves and play a more and more significant role in the labour market,” said Silvana Nascimento, an official from the Minas Gerais State Office of Tourism.

There were similar treats in store for the 250 female workers helping to refurbish the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro. As well as receiving flowers and having snacks and refreshments laid on for them at the end of the working day, they also took part in a prize draw, with 15 pairs of tickets to a women’s volleyball match up for grabs.

Awareness raised across the nation
Meanwhile, up in the north-eastern city of Fortaleza, debates and awareness sessions were the order of the day, with female personnel at the Estadio Castelo receiving talks on domestic violence and the legislation designed to combat it.

Among the specialists giving their views was Maria da Penha, a well-known pharmacist and women’s rights campaigner: “This day is an opportunity to remember our conquests and highlight the problems we still have to overcome.”

A commemorative event was also organised in Brasilia, the nation’s capital, where female workers at the Estadio Nacional watched with pride as a video featuring tributes to their work from colleagues was shown. The draw for the stadium’s women’s football tournament, which takes place on 17 March, was also held.

“I’m going to play for Bahia and I hope to do my very best in the matches and in my work here,” said one of the employees in the stadium’s cleaning and maintenance department.

Click on the link to see more photos of the International Women’s Day events held at the Brazil 2014 stadiums.