By Sue Hall
Since the early part of the 20th century there has been a day when people have come together to celebrate and mark the changes that have occurred in women’s lives. International Women’s Day (IWD) emerged from the activities of labour movements in North America and across Europe.
By 1975, during International Women’s Year, the United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8. It is a day that many countries mark and it is a day celebrated by men and women. The tradition in some countries sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends and colleagues with flowers and small gifts.
Women’s organisations and governments across the world also observe IWD annually in March by holding events that honour women’s advancement.
In recent times, there has been a noticeable shift in both women’s and society’s thoughts about their roles. In many countries, there clearly have been improvements in women’s lives.There are female astronauts, prime ministers, girls attend University in record numbers and women can work while also having a family.
The shop is somewhat hidden away in São Brás de Alportel, but everyone seems to know where A Ti Marquinhas is located. The shop is full of old Portuguese cooking pots and cork containers, along with clean cabinets with traditional carob, almond and fig cakes.
She feels it was easy to follow her passion for cake-making. She says she keeps in her mind that people love her cakes and it is a good product, connected to what is produced both in São Brás and across the Eastern Algarve.
At the weekends, she often makes up to 15 cakes by herself for parties. She says: “Each new design I create, I try to think through and see how I can make it better than the one before”.
Next time you eat a ‘bolinho de amêndoa’, perhaps take a moment to think about the skill and perseverance of Sra Valentina.
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