International Women’s Day 2015edit
Despite originating in the early 20th century, the issues surrounding the conception of International Women’s Day (IWD) continue to face women around the world today. Current demands for equal payment, better working conditions, and reproductive rights are signs of women’s continuing struggle against gender discrimination. While some of the issues that dominated the international suffrage movement have now been addressed, such as the right to vote, women and girls throughout the world must continue to fight for their voices to be heard.
IWD provides an opportunity to reflect on both the progress made and the work yet to be done in raising women’s rights and gender based issues on the international agenda. 2015 is a crucial year for women, marking the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration, the historic Platform for Action signed by 189 governments which set out the agenda for realising women’s rights and freedoms. It is also the target for reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and identifying the priorities for the post-2015 agenda. The theme of this year’s IWD, Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture It! will celebrate the achievements and progress made as a result of the 1995 Beijing Declaration, and aims to maintain and build momentum in promoting future action and greater positive change to ensure women and girls live free from violence and discrimination and are aware of their rights.
Last year, IWD focused on Equality for Women is Progress for All, highlighting the need for acceptance of women in senior leadership roles and recognition of women’s power to inspire change on a community and national level. As part of our human rights programme, we continue to support ongoing international efforts to promote positive change for women. We have held events to promote Women-led businesses, opportunities for Women in the private sector in the Middle East and North Africa, and the role of Women in peacebuilding, an important issue for which we are exploring the opportunity of another event in South East Asia later in the year to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the UNSCR 1325.
The 2015 IWD aims to build on the successes of last year such as the international Girl Summit, which raised awareness and support to accelerate and strengthen the efforts to eliminate the practices of female genital mutilation (FGM) and child, early and forced marriage (CEFM). In 2012 we held an event on Preventing sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations, building on personal security issues which remain at the forefront of the international agenda. This year we hope to build on these earlier events by exploring the possibility of holding meetings to further efforts to eliminate violence against women and girls, including practices such as FGM and CEFM.
Women-led businesses (2014)
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