Day 4 -3rd March
Celebration of International Women’s Day
The United Nations marked International Women’s Day in a session at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) with the presence of UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon. WAGGGS delegates Nefeli, Lizzie, Susanna and Maria Jose had the privilege to attend the event.
This year is the 15th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA)– the outcome of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 – which remains the most comprehensive global policy framework to achieve the goals of gender equality, development and peace. World leaders attending the summit in the Chinese capital declared that the full participation by women in all spheres of society, including the decision-making and access to power, are fundamental for development and peace.
Since then, there are signs of progress, the Secretary-General said during the session. Most girls now receive education, especially at the primary level, while a growing number of countries have policies and legislation supporting gender equality and reproductive health in place.
Women everywhere are mobilizing for equality and empowerment - with great success. We have many reasons to be proud about progress on BPfA - but must not be complacent. Many women are still victims to violence.
Ban Ki-Moon. UN Secretary General
Many women, he reminded, are still victims to early forced marriage, honour killing, sexual abuse and trafficking. Ban Ki-Moon added: “Let us build on what has worked and correct what has not. We at the UN must lead by example and I hope the member states will follow this example suit.”
Last September it was announced that four UN agencies and offices – including the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) – will be amalgamated to create a new single entity within the world body to promote the rights and well-being of women worldwide and to work towards gender equality. Mr. Ban today urged the General Assembly to adopt a resolution “without delay” to set up this new entity.
Take Action on International Women’s Day!
On the 8th March the achievements of women around the world are celebrated on International Women’s Day (IWD). As the world’s largest volunteer organization for girls and young women, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts is a major supporter of this day, which is observed globally through a range of events that acknowledge the contribution women make to society, business, the arts, science and technology.
WAGGGS calls all members to participate in the poster competition ‘girls worldwide say no to violence against women’. The competition will start on 8 March, International Women’s Day and will end on 12 August, International Youth Day so there is plenty of time to run a special meeting with your groups, encourage your friends and family to join and check out all the other actions you can take on the WAGGGS action page! More details will be published on 8 March.
Read the International Women’s Day message from the Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon. “Gender equality, empowering women central to all other Millennium Development Goals”, he says.