Today, 3/8/2019, is International Women’s Day when the world celebrates the strength and determination of the woman. This day has been celebrated since 1975 when the United Nations wanted a day to bring attention to women’s achievements and to aim for more future rights for them. Today’s event is known as #Balanceforbetter to recognize gender equality. It will be celebrated in many different ways and we have recapped a few events that have already happened in different countries.
- Spain. Thousands of women walked off the job in Spain, joining millions more around the world demanding equality amid a persistent salary gap, violence and widespread inequality.
- Portugal. The Cabinet observed a minute of silence Thursday as part of a day of national mourning it decreed for victims of domestic violence. Portuguese police say 12 women have died this year in domestic violence incidents — the highest number over the same period in 10 years.
- France. The first Simone Veil prize went Friday to a Cameroonian activist who has worked against forced marriages and other violence against girls and women.
- Russia. President Vladimir Putin gave a speech thanking women for their patience, good grace, and support. “You manage to do everything: both at work and at home and at the same time you remain beautiful, charismatic, charming, the center of gravity for the whole family, uniting it with your love,” Putin said.
- Turkey. Four female members of Turkey’s gendarmerie units found an unusual way of marking the day: rappelling down from Istanbul’s 15 July Martyrs’ Bridge connecting the city’s European and Asian sides and into the waters of the iconic Bosporus.
- India. Hundreds of women marched on the streets of New Delhi demanding an end to domestic violence, sexual attacks, and discrimination in jobs.
- Indonesia. In Jakarta, several hundred men and women carried colorful placards calling for an end to discriminative practices such as the termination of employment for pregnancy and exploitative work contracts.
- South Korea. Women wearing black cloaks and pointed hats marched against what they describe as a “witch hunt” of feminists in a deeply conservative society. College student Noh Seo-young said that South Korea struggles to accept that women are “also humans” and that women have to fight until they can “walk around safely.”
- North Korea. People dressed up for family photo shoots or bought roses for their mothers or wives at the many small, bright orange street stalls in central Pyongyang that sell flowers.
- Philippines. Hundreds of women in purple shirts used a noisy march and protest in Manila to call for the ouster of President Rodrigo Duterte, whom they rebuked for the often sexist jokes he cracks and authoritarian moves they say are threatening one of Asia’s liveliest democracies.
- Africa. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who named one of the world’s few “gender-balanced” Cabinets last year, told a gathering on Friday that “women are the pillars of the nation and the least recognized for their sacrifices.”
- North America. USA. First lady Melania Trump saluted women from 10 countries for their courage. The recipients of the International Women of Courage Award included human rights activists, police officers, and an investigative journalist. They came from Bangladesh, Djibouti, Egypt, Ireland, Jordan, Montenegro, Myanmar, Peru, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania.”Courage is what divides those who only talk about change from those who actually act to change,” Mrs. Trump said at a ceremony Thursday.
Celebrated annually, International Women’s Day is an opportunity to recognize the social, cultural, political and economic achievements of women and also acknowledge changes that have yet to happen.
Ref. chicagotribune.com, NBC/Today,
Photo courtesy of Bing via desicomments.com