International Women's Day 2019
International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 every year. In some places, it is a day of protest; in others, it is a day that celebrates womanhood. It is a focal point in the movement for women's rights.
The UN theme for International Women's Day 2019 is: 'Think equal, build smart, innovate for change'. The focus of the theme is on innovative ways in which to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women, particularly in the areas of social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure.
The United Nations hosted its flagship event celebrating International Women’s Day on Friday to recognize unsung women from across the world, and encourage innovation to transform lives. UN Secretary-General António Guterres opened the event by enumerating some of the world’s collective challenges, “from climate change…to the weakening of commitment to multilateralism,” stressing that “gender equality and women’s rights are fundamental to addressing each of these”.
“We can only re-establish trust and rebuild global solidarity by challenging historic injustices and promoting the rights and dignity of all”, he maintained. “We can only achieve sustainable development and peace by drawing on all our assets and capacities.” “Increasing the number of women decision-makers is essential”, Mr. Guterres remarked, adding that the UN has reached gender parity among its leaders around the world.
According to The Guardian, Women around the world staged protests against gender discrimination and gender violence, and for equal labor rights. Despite women’s achievements and successes, their voices are still routinely overlooked, and their opinions ignored, with everyone paying the price for inequality and oppression. Here’s a summary of events from all over the world.
• Spanish women went on strike and staged an enormous protest, as women’s rights have become a hot topic in the run-up to a general election.
• In France, the first Simone Veil prize was awarded to a Cameroonian activist who worked against forced marriages, Doumara Ngatansou, after she herself was married against her will at 15.
• The Portuguese Cabinet observed a minute of silence in mourning of victims of domestic violence. Twelve women have died this year in domestic violence incidents, the highest number in 10 years.
• Far-right activists in Kiev, Ukraine were detained after they tried to provoke activists protesting sexual violence.
• Hundreds of women marched in New Delhi, India, demanding an end to domestic violence, sexual attacks and employment discrimination. Thousands of women are killed each year there, often when a groom or his family feel a bride’s dowry is inadequate.
• In Jakarta, Indonesia, several hundred men and women carried placards calling for an end to discriminatory practices which end employments when women get pregnant.
• In South Korea, women wore pointed hats and cloaks, marching against a “witch hunt” of feminists in deeply conservative society.
• In Puerto Rico, hundreds of protesters in purple T-shirts demanded safer housing, as the US territory struggles to recover from Hurricane Maria. Some held up signs with the names of more than 20 women reportedly killed by their partners on the island last year.
• In one of the most dangerous countries to be a woman, El Salvador, three women jailed on charges of abortion had their sentences commuted. El Salvador has a total ban on abortion. Reproductive rights advocates said the move from the country’s supreme court was a hopeful sign.
• Women in Argentina took to the streets after a bill that would have legalized abortion was rejected last year. They prepared for a large march from Congress to the country’s historic Plaza de Mayo square later in the day, during which they were set to protest against violence.
• Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who named one of the world’s few “gender-balanced” Cabinets last year, told a gathering that “women are the pillars of the nation and the least recognized for their sacrifices.”
• The US Embassy in Niegeria hosted talks on sexual harassment, which included a founder of the recent #ArewaMeToo campaign among women in the country’s conservatives.
• Women in Kenya protested against gender-based violence in the nation’s capital.
We believe that a balanced world is a better world. How can you help forge a more gender-balanced world? Celebrate women's achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.