Countries around the world celebrate women’s rights
For the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, celebrations across the globe are marking the strides women have made for equality. Especially this year, when uprisings in the Middle East are attempting to usher in new democratic governments, the world is aware of the importance of women’s rights. In Cairo, a thousand women chanted for a fair and equal opportunity for all of Egypt’s citizens, while anti-feminists attempted to disrupt the demonstration.
Around the world, women symbolically walked across bridges for equal access to education, science and technology. Some of the bridges included the Millennium Bridge in London, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, and the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.
In the United States, Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton spoke at the International Women of Courage Awards.
Head of UN women’s agency: progress made, but further to go
Michelle Bachelet, the former Chilean President and the first executive director of UN Women, released a statement that spoke of the “remarkable progress” women have made in the last century. For instance, gaining the right to vote and jobs that were previously unavailable to women.
However, since women still suffer discrimination and do not hold enough positions in power, it will take time until both genders are truly equal. Boys are more likely to be enrolled in school than girls, for example, and women still earn less than men in the same professions.
Women’s Day began in Europe in 1911
On March 19, 1911, over a million men and women from the socialist movement rallied in the streets in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland to bring attention to the discrimination against women. The day of demonstration, which was initially known as International Working Women’s Day, spread to Eastern Europe, Russia, and the former Soviet bloc before catching on throughout the world.
In 1977, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming March 8 as a day for recognizing women’s rights.