Thursday, March 7, 2013

March 8 Women's Day

Woman is the companion of man, gifted with equal mental capacity... 
If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man's superior... 
If non-violence is the law of our being, the future is with women...

Mahatma Ghandi

March 8  Women's Day 

In 1975, during International Women's Year, 
the United Nations began celebrating 
International Women's Day on  March 8. 

International Women's Day has been observed since in the early 1900's
In 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City 
demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.

1909   The first National Woman's Day was observed 
in the United States on 28 February. 
The Socialist Party of America designated this day in 
honour of the 1908 garment workers' strike in New York

1910   The Socialist International, meeting in Copenhagen,
 established a Women's Day, international

No fixed date was selected for the observance.

1911   As a result of the Copenhagen initiative, 
International Women's Day was marked for the first time (19 March)
 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland

The Charter of the United Nations, signed in 1945, 
was the first international agreement to affirm the principle of equality 
between women and men. 
Since then, the UN has helped create a historic legacy 
of internationally-agreed strategies, standards,
 programmes and goals to advance the status of women worldwide.

Over the years, the UN and its technical agencies have promoted the participation of women as equal partners with men in achieving sustainable development, peace, security, and full respect for human rights. The empowerment of women continues to be a central feature of the UN's efforts to address social, economic and political challenges across the globe

Each year International Women’s Day 
focuses on a key issue for women.
 The theme for International Women’s Day 
this year is ending violence against women.

The United Nations estimates that up to 70 percent of women experience physical or sexual violence from men in their lifetime. The World Health Organisation claims that acts of violence perpetrated against women aged between 15 and 44 causes more deaths and disability than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war combined.

In recent months there have been a few cases of violence against women which have attracted mainstream media coverage and with that, the attention of the Australian public. The rape and murder of Jill Meagher, the shooting of Pakistani school girl Malala Yousafzai and the gang rape of a young Indian doctor Jyoti Singh are examples. The sad thing is that for each of these women who came to the attention of the mainstream media there are millions more who did not.

Imagine what the world might look like if women could live free from the fear of being a victim of physical or sexual violence, survive childhood and grow into women, not be victims of honour or dowry killings, not have their genitals mutilated, not be forced into early marriage or simply murdered for being a woman. Gender-based violence must be eradicated, so we might achieve true equity for women and girls.

1 comment:

Jane said...

This is a wonderful post. Thank-you!