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Each year since 1911, on March 8, organizations around the world celebrate International Women’s Day, celebrating the achievements of women while calling for greater equality. Thousands of events take place every year on International Women’s Day (IWD) to mark the economic, political, and social achievements of women.
The global theme of IWD this year is Make It Happen. Individual groups celebrating IWD set their own themes specific to their local context and interests. For years, the United Nations theme has been centered around equality, and this year is no different.
The official United Nations theme for International Women’s Day 2015 is “Empowering Women – Empowering Humanity: Picture It!”
This year’s theme “envisions a world where each woman and girl can exercise her choices, such as participating in politics, getting an education, having an income, and living in societies free from violence and discrimination.” (un.org)
This year, the UN will highlight the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a “historic roadmap signed by 189 governments 20 years ago that sets the agenda for realizing women’s rights. While there have been many achievements since then, many serious gaps remain.”
“This is the time to uphold women’s achievements, recognize challenges, and focus greater attention on women’s rights and gender equality to mobilize all people to do their part. The Beijing Platform for Action focuses on 12 critical areas of concern, and envisions a world where each woman and girl can exercise her choices, such as participating in politics, getting an education, having an income, and living in societies free from violence and discrimination.” (unwomen.org)
“Women left Beijing with high hopes, with a well-defined path towards equality, and firm commitments at the highest level,” said UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka in her message for IWD 2015. “Their hope was that we would see this by 2005. Today, not one single country has achieved equality.”
Mlambo-Ngcuka calls on all countries to “step it up” for gender equality, to reach ‘Planet 50-50’ before 2030. Watch her full message:
Gender Equality: Where Are We?
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