international women's day 2011

Archive for the ‘Global’ Category

In the Monarch’s annual address to the “family of nations”, she highlighted how women play vital roles under many guises – from doctors and artists to entrepreneurs and teachers.

Gender inequalities are still found across the globe and the sovereign called on individuals and groups to think of practical ways to provide support to girls and women so they could lead fuller lives.

International Women’s Day, held last Tuesday, celebrated its 100th anniversary this year.

The Monarch highlighted the milestone and said the event had grown from humble beginnings to become a global way of publicly recognising mothers and daughters.

The Queen, whose address mirrored the theme of Commonwealth Day, said: “This year, the Commonwealth celebrates the important role that women already play in every walk of life and in every Commonwealth country – from the richest to the poorest areas, across continents and oceans, from villages to places of international debate, in every culture and faith – recognising that women are “agents of change” in so many ways: As mothers and sisters, teachers and doctors, artists and craftspeople, smallholders and entrepreneurs, and as leaders of our societies, unleashing the potential of those around them.”

The monarch, who is head of the Commonwealth, added: “And also this year, the Commonwealth reflects on what more could be achieved if women were able to play an even larger role.

“For example, I am encouraged that last year the Commonwealth launched a global effort to train and support half a million more midwives worldwide.”

The monarch’s pre-recorded words formed part of the annual Observance of Commonwealth Day service, held at Westminster Abbey and attended by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh and a host of dignitaries.

Among the speakers were the singer and campaigner Annie Lennox and Zambian-born economist Dambisa Moyo who will draw attention to the achievements of women across the Commonwealth and highlighting how much remains to be done to achieve true equality.

Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy read a poem commissioned for the service called A Commonwealth Blessing for Girls.

The Observance, Britain’s largest annual inter-faith gathering, was attended by the Commonwealth Chairperson-in-office, Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, and more than 1,000 school children.

Concluding her address, the Queen urged the Commonwealth to “…give a thought to the practical ways in which we, as individuals or as groups, can provide support to girls and women – so that everyone can have a chance of a fuller and more rewarding life, wherever they happen to be born”.

Part of a longer article at http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20110315/world-news/women-are-agents-of-change-queen-elizabeth

Advertisements

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, celebrated the amazing achievements of London’s women to mark International Women’s Day 2011

The remarkable women included in the exhibition are leaders in their fields and have made a significant contribution within their chosen areas. The exhibition includes trailblazer Dany Cotton, who, as Deputy Assistant Commissioner, is the highest ranking female in the London Fire Brigade. At the vanguard of human rights is Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty who is also included.

Other incredible women who are notable for their exceptional talents and achievements are Michelin starred chef Angela Hartnett, Olympic gold medalist, Dame Kelly Holmes, ground-breaking artist, Tracey Emin, the first female Chief Executive of the London Stock Exchange, Dame Clara Furse, dot.com pioneer, Martha Lane Fox and Emmeline Pankhurst, leader of the British suffragette movement, which helped women win the right to vote. The sphere of religion is epitomized by Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin who was made a chaplain to the Queen in 2007. The fields of fashion and music are well represented by Kate Moss and RnB fusion artist MIA as well as Hackney-born singer, Leona Lewis.

The exhibition consists of women who have a strong connection to the capital, whether they were born Londoners or have become Londoners through living in this great city. It covers 100 years of women’s history and celebrates inspiring London women of all ages from diverse backgrounds.

Metro readers are being asked to vote for their favourite or most influential woman of the last century on their website and the result will be published on International Women’s Day.

The exhibition also coincides with the first anniversary of the Mayor publishing London’s first ever strategy to tackle violence against women. Since then London has been leading the way in improving the response to violence against women and girls.

Since the plan was published, the Mayor has quadrupled rape crisis provision in the capital by opening three new Rape Crisis Centres and expanding the Croydon Rape Crisis Centre. He has also launched a new Rape Crisis London website to improve access to these services. Prevention is at the heart of the Mayor’s strategy and he has worked with partners to raise awareness of sexual consent amongst young people. Partnership activity has also been established to prevent and respond to the issue of human trafficking ahead of the London 2012 Games when there may be an increase in this activity. The Mayor is providing leadership on this issue and is working continuously to ensure that tackling violence against women is a priority across London.

Notes:

    1. The exhibition of inspiring women runs at City Hall closes on 17 March 2011.
    2. Metro Newspaper and the Press Association are both media partners for the exhibition. To take part in the Metro vote for the most influential woman of the past 100 years go to: www.metro.co.uk/influential
    3. The Mayor’s strategy for tackling violence against women; The Way Forward: taking action to end violence against women can be found here: www.london.gov.uk/thewayforward.
    4. The London violence against women and girls panel, established in 2010 to oversee the delivery of the Mayor’s strategy has been working in partnership to improve strategic coordination of London’s response to gender-based violence.
    5. Information about the rape crisis centres can be found here: www.rapecrisislondon.org

See also: Guardian 100 most influential women

Message from UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet

A hundred years ago today, women across the world took an historic step on the long road to equality. The first ever International Women’s Day was called to draw attention to the unacceptable and often dangerous working conditions that so many women faced worldwide. Although the occasion was celebrated in only a handful of countries, it brought over one million women out onto the streets, demanding not just better conditions at work but also the right to vote, to hold office and to be equal partners with men.

I suspect those courageous pioneers would look at our world today with a mixture of pride and disappointment. There has been remarkable progress as the last century has seen an unprecedented expansion of women’s legal rights and entitlements. Indeed, the advancement of women’s rights can lay claim to be one of the most profound social revolutions the world has seen.

One hundred years ago, only two countries allowed women to vote. Today, that right is virtually universal, and women have now been elected to lead Governments in every continent. Women, too, hold leading positions in professions from which they were once banned. Far more recently than a century ago, the police, courts and neighbors still saw violence in the home as a purely private matter. Today two-thirds of countries have specific laws that penalize domestic violence, and the United Nations Security Council now recognizes sexual violence as a deliberate tactic of war.

But despite this progress over the last century, the hopes of equality expressed on that first International Women’s Day are a long way from being realized. Almost two out of three illiterate adults are women. Girls are still less likely to be in school than boys. Every 90 seconds of every day, a woman dies in pregnancy or due to childbirth-related complications despite us having the knowledge and resources to make birth safe.

Across the world, women continue to earn less than men for the same work. In many countries, too, they have unequal access to land and inheritance rights. And despite high-profile advances, women still make up only 19 percent of legislatures, 8 percent of peace negotiators, and only 28 women are heads of state or government.

It is not just women who pay the price for this discrimination. We all suffer for failing to make the most of half the world’s talent and potential. We undermine the quality of our democracy, the strength of our economies, the health of our societies and the sustainability of peace. This year’s focus of International Women’s Day on women’s equal access to education, training, science and technology underscores the need to tap this potential.

The agenda to secure gender equality and women’s rights is a global agenda, a challenge for every country, rich and poor, north and south. It was in recognition of both its universality and the rewards if we get this right that the United Nations brought together four existing organizations to create UN Women. The goal of this new body, which I have the great privilege to lead, is to galvanize the entire UN system so we can deliver on the promise of the UN Charter of equal rights of men and women. It is something I have fought for my whole life.

As a young mother and a paediatrician, I experienced the struggles of balancing family and career and saw how the absence of childcare prevented women from paid employment. The opportunity to help remove these barriers was one of the reasons I went into politics. It is why I supported policies that extended health and childcare services to families and prioritized public spending for social protection.

As President, I worked hard to create equal opportunities for both men and women to contribute their talents and experiences to the challenges facing our country. That is why I proposed a Cabinet that had an equal number of men and women.

As Executive Director of UN Women, I want to use my journey and the collective knowledge and experience all around me to encourage progress towards true gender equality across the world. We will work, in close partnership with men and women, leaders and citizens, civil society, the private sector and the whole UN system to assist countries to roll out policies, programmes and budgets to achieve this worthy goal.

I have seen myself what women, often in the toughest circumstances, can achieve for their families and societies if they are given the opportunity. The strength, industry and wisdom of women remain humanity’s greatest untapped resource. We simply cannot afford to wait another 100 years to unlock this potential.

http://www.unwomen.org/news-events/international-womens-day/messages/#usg

See also: Video message by Ms. Bachelet (transcript) http://www.unwomen.org/news-events/international-womens-day/resources/#videos

Last year we held the very first Blog for International Women’s Day (Blog for IWD for short) where we asked readers to blog about what equal rights meant to them. We’re holding another Blog for IWD on Tuesday, March 8, 2011 on the United Nations’ theme of “Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women.”

Based off of this year’s U.N. theme, we are asking bloggers to answer any of the following prompts:
* What does it mean to have equal access to education, training and science and technology for women, and how do we get there?
* Describe a particular organization or moment in history that helped to mobilize a meaningful change in equal access to education, training and science and technology for women.

On March 8, we’ll be writing our own answer to these prompts, as well as liveblog to tell you what other bloggers are saying about Blog for IWD. To sign up for Blog for International Women’s Day, click here (you can also see the list of blogs participating, plus info on how to download the graphic to show your participation).

http://www.genderacrossborders.com/2011/02/21/announcing-the-second-annual-blog-for-international-womens-day/

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

International Women’s Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women’s Day is marked on the 8th of March every year. It is a major day of global celebration of women. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women’s economic, political and social achievements.

Started as a Socialist political event, the holiday blended in the culture of many countries, primarily Eastern Europe, Russia, and the former Soviet bloc. In many regions, the day lost its political flavour, and became simply an occasion for men to express their love for women in a way somewhat similar to a mixture of Mother’s Day and St Valentine’s Day. In other regions, however, the original political and human rights theme designated by the United Nations runs strong, and political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide are brought out and examined in a hopeful manner.

The first IWD was observed on 19 March 1911 in Germany following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America. The idea of having an international women’s day was first put forward at the turn of the 20th century amid rapid world industrialization and economic expansion that led to protests over working conditions[citation needed]

In 1910, Second International held the first international women’s conference in Copenhagen (in the labour-movement building located at Jagtvej 69, which until recently housed Ungdomshuset). An ‘International Women’s Day’ was established. It was suggested by the important German Socialist Clara Zetkin, although no date was specified.[2] The following year, 1911, IWD was marked by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, on March 19.[3] However, soon thereafter, on March 25, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City killed over 140 garment workers. A lack of safety measures was blamed for the high death toll. Furthermore, on the eve of World War I, women across Europe held peace rallies on 8 March 1913. In the West, International Women’s Day was first observed in the 1970s.[citation needed]

Demonstrations marking International Women’s Day in Russia proved to be the first stage of the Russian Revolution of 1917.

Following the October Revolution, the Bolshevik Alexandra Kollontai persuaded Lenin to make it an official holiday in the Soviet Union, and it was established, but was a working day until 1965. On May 8, 1965 by the decree of the USSR Presidium of the Supreme Soviet International Women’s Day was declared a non working day in the USSR “in commemoration of the outstanding merits of Soviet women in communistic construction, in the defense of their Fatherland during the Great Patriotic War, in their heroism and selflessness at the front and in the rear, and also marking the great contribution of women to strengthening friendship between peoples, and the struggle for peace. But still, women’s day must be celebrated as are other holidays.”

Entry continues at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Women%27s_Day

See also short history of IWD from the UN web site http://www.un.org/womenwatch/feature/iwd/history.html

As well as A History of International Women’s Day in words and images at http://www.isis.aust.com/iwd/stevens/firstiwd.htm

Annie Lennox and the EQUALS partnership of charities invite you to Join the Big Inequality Debate and celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, on 8 March 2011

Oxfam’s global ambassador and Barclays Woman of the Year, Annie Lennox OBE, has brought together a coalition of charities that champion women’s rights to ensure that the centenary of International Women’s Day (IWD), on 8 March, is a catalyst for celebration and positive change.

The EQUALS coalition comprises ActionAid, Amnesty International, Care International UK, The Fawcett Society, Oxfam, Plan International, Save the Children, The White Ribbon Alliance For Safe Motherhood, Women’s Aid and Women for Women International. It is supported by an evolving partnership of organisations, including 1Goal, Dance4Life, Merlin, Mumsnet, Object, One World Action, UKFeminista, VSO, WomanKind and Women for Refugee Women, and is collaborating with arts partners such as Birds Eye View, Brightwide, Britdoc/Good Screenings, Funny Women and the Southbank Centre.

Annie Lennox says:

EQUALS brings together the expertise of some of the most respected and influential charities that champion women’s rights. A lot has changed since 1911, but there is still a long way to go. Gender inequality continues to permeate all sectors of society, from health and education to politics, employment and culture. The EQUALS partnership aims to step up the call for a more equal world and galvanise a new generation of men and women to work together to make gender parity a lived reality here in the UK and worldwide.”

Join the big inequality debate…

Around the world, millions of people celebrate International Women’s Day every year. In China women have the day off work, in Bosnia and Italy women are given gifts of flowers and in Cameroon women dance in the streets in celebration. Yet in the UK, the event has gone largely unnoticed…until now. This centenary year will be a turning point.

EQUALS is prompting a big debate about what inequality looks like 100 years after the first International Women’s Day (IWD) was celebrated in 1911. We are inviting men and women to reflect on the progress that has been made in women’s rights, to discuss the inequalities that still exist, share experiences and ideas with people around the globe, and take action to transform the lives of those women and girls who remain excluded and violated. Throughout the week of 8 March and in the run up to IWD, EQUALS will be raising awareness through a series of innovative projects, events, multimedia initiatives and arts partnerships.

EQUALS will be prompting the public to discuss inequality at home, at work, at school, in community centres, universities and pubs. We will be running a series of flash-mob dance-offs around the globe and encouraging communities everywhere to host their own parties in houses, streets and workplaces. A nationwide poll will be commissioned to test perceptions and experiences of gender equality, and our social media content on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube will tap the pulse of popular opinion. A campaign film is also in production, and we will be launching a 60-second film competition. Visitors to our website, http://www.weareequals.org, will be able to register a personal pledge for equality and access information about all the latest EQUALS events and activities from the end of February.

Haven’t we already achieved gender equality?

While much has been achieved over the last 50 years in terms of women’s rights in the UK, we have a long way to go. Times have changed, but sadly some of the key issues have not. Research shows that women in the UK and worldwide still face high levels of abuse, and violence and gender inequality continues to permeate all sectors of society.

Gender-based violence causes more deaths and disabilities among women worldwide, aged 15-44, than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war, and three million women across the UK experience rape, domestic violence, trafficking, forced marriage or other violence each year. Only 19% of the world’s parliamentary seats are held by women and men still make up nearly 80% of the House of Commons. Women do two-thirds of the world’s work, yet receive 10% of the world’s income and own 1% of the means of production. The full-time pay gap between women and men in the UK is equivalent to men being paid a full year whilst women effectively work for free after November. Only 24% of the people interviewed, heard, seen or read about in mainstream broadcast and print news are female.

We invite you to check our website holding page, www.weareequals.org, for more key facts and figures and for press releases on coalition projects and events, as well as initiatives by our individual charity partners. Our main site will launch at the end of February.

Notes

EQUALS can offer a range of engaging ideas for media content to kick off the Big Inequality Debate including access to soon-to-be-announced high profile events, and interviews with the CEOs of our coalition charities and celebrity ambassadors for the campaign. We are also able to source poignant and uplifting personal stories from around the world featuring young women (and men) directly affected by gender and inequality issues. The EQUALS coalition founding charities are: ActionAid, Amnesty International, Care International UK, The Fawcett Society, Oxfam, Plan International, Save the Children, The White Ribbon Alliance For Safe Motherhood, Women’s Aid, Women for Women International.

The wider EQUALS partnership also includes:
* 1Goal, Dance4Life, Merlin, Mumsnet, Object, One World Action, UKFeminista, VSO, WomanKind and Women for Refugee Women.

Our evolving group of arts partners include:
* Birds Eye View, Brightwide, Britdoc/Good Screenings, FILMCLUB, Funny Women, Sphinx Theatre, Southbank Centre.

A further release, EQUALS – MEDIA BRIEFING, is available, detailing:
* EQUALS – aims & objectives
* Key facts & figures on gender inequality
* The history of International Women’s Day

http://www.actionaid.org.uk/102704/press_release.html

Women for Women International provides women survivors of war, civil strife and other conflicts with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency, thereby promoting viable civil societies. We’re changing the world one woman at a time. Visit womenforwomen.org for more information.

The idea for Join Me on the Bridge came from the Country Directors of Women for Women’s programmes in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo – two countries which have seen some of the most devastating impacts of war in recent years and where atrocities such as rape, torture and violence against women are commonplace. Women from different communities decided to come together on a bridge which borders their two countries, in the heart of the conflict; to stand up for peace and an end to violence against women.

We will be marking the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day on 8th March 2011, by organising an even bigger movement of women to join together on a bridge. Women, children and men, whether it’s 2, 200, 2000, or more, will be joining together on bridges across the world, holding up banners, making a public statement that ‘Stronger Women Build Bridges of Peace’ and supporting women in war-torn areas. They will be calling for women to have a greater say at the peace negotiating tables and for countries to honour the UN goals they have signed up to, to bring an end to violence against women in areas of conflict.

“100 years ago brave women stood up and changed the world for so many of us. Today, there are equally brave women standing up for equality in Afghanistan. Now is our chance to get behind them and help bring peace and greater security to these women. Women in Afghanistan must be fully included in the peace negotiations. Peace without women doesn’t stand a chance, and the time to build peace is now – before the troops start withdrawing in June 2011.

We’re not asking for any new policies or laws. They already exist. We have UN Resolution 1325, and we have the Millennium Development Goals. It’s time to act, and we’re calling for everyone who wants to make a stand against the brutalities inflicted on women in Afghanistan, and in areas of conflict around the world, to join us on a bridge on the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, 8th March 2011.” Says Kate Nustedt, Executive Director of Women for Women UK, and organiser of the global Join me on the Bridge campaign.

Be part of it. One woman can change anything. Many women can change everything.

Join a Bridge Event http://www.womenforwomen.org/bridge/attend-bridge-event.php

Organise an Event http://www.womenforwomen.org/bridge/organize-bridge-event.php

Sign the Petition

Urgent action now will make a big difference to the women and girls of Afghanistan.

As the world is about to celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, peace negotiations are happening that will determine the future of Afghanistan. Women are excluded from taking a full part in these negotiations, and we demand that women have an equal seat at the negotiating table, and an equal voice in determining their future, and the future of their country.

There is no peace without women. More than anything, women in Afghanistan need security so that they can play a full part in rebuilding their country.

Let’s support our sisters, and help them to build a better future for Afghanistan. We can do this by signing this petition and joining together on bridges on 8th March, International Women’s Day, alongside our sisters in Afghanistan and other war-torn countries across the world.

This petition will be presented to your Foreign Secretary of State, calling for urgent action so that Afghan women can play a full part in building the bridges of peace for their future.

Sign the petition now at http://www.womenforwomen.org/bridge/sign-the-pledge.php


red women's symbold with continents superimposed repeatd 5 times

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6 other followers

Top Clicks

  • None

Archives

Advertisements