IWTC Women's GlobalNet #324
Activities and Initiatives of Women Worldwide

International Women’s Day celebrated with demonstrations, talks, strikes and  peace actions around the world

March 7, 2007
By Sofia Binioris, Lilla Osztrovzski & Joeyta Bose

1. UN SECRETARY-GENERAL AND GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT RELEASE STATEMENTS TO MARK INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY (IWD)

2. EVENTS AT UN HEADQUARTERS TO COMMEMORATE IWD

3. COMPREHENSIVE WEBSITE DEVOTED TO IWD EVENTS ACROSS THE WORLD

4. A SELECTION OF GLOBAL EVENTS & INITIATIVES

The staff of the International Women’s Tribune Centre wishes all our readers a festive and inspirational International Women’s Day. The United Nations has declared that the theme for this year is “Ending Impunity for Violence Against Women and Girls” and though a monumental amount of work still needs to be done to achieve this goal, March 8 presents us with the opportunity to reflect on the enduring efforts of women and the victories that have come from them and to renew commitment and hope to the cause of gender equality.

 

Yet, as we celebrate International Women’s Day in the midst of the concluding days of the 51st session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women and hear from the 4,000 women and 200 girls who have gathered in New York for this two-week event, we acknowledge that there is still a long way to go. In particular, it is somewhat disheartening to note the significant lack of press coverage and media attention about an annual meeting that not only serves as a meeting ground for thousands of women, governments and hundreds of NGOs, but also serves as one of the only policy spaces where women can collectively engage in advocacy at an international level. NOTE: The International Women’s Tribune Centre will be devoting a number of our subsequent issues of IWTC Women’s GlobalNet to the events, activities and issues that surfaced during this year’s CSW session.

 

1. UN SECRETARY-GENERAL AND GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT RELEASE STATEMENTS TO MARK INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and UN General Assembly President Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa released statements to mark International Women’s Day. In his text and video message, Ban highlighted the toll of violence on women’s lives and said that the importance of International Women’s Day was that “it spells out our responsibility to work for enduring change in values and attitudes…It compels us to strengthen every means of empowering women and girls -- from education to microcredit.”

 

Sheikha Haya, in her message, referred to the comprehensive study on violence against women that was issued during this 61st session of the General Assembly, and called on UN member states to uphold their obligations in ending impunity of violence committed against women. “States cannot abdicate their international obligations to punish perpetrators and prevent violence against, and the exploitation of, women and girls. Neither can they hide behind cultural and religious reservations to international treaties condemning this violence…,” she said.

- Read UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s statement at: http://www.un.org/events/women/iwd/2007/sg-message.shtml

- Read UN UN General Assembly President Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa’s statement at: http://www.un.org/events/women/iwd/2007/gapres-message.shtml

 

2. EVENTS AT UN HEADQUARTERS TO COMMEMORATE IWD

Two panel discussions and a film screening will be held to observe International Women’s Days at UN Headquarters on March 8. The first panel discussion on the subject of violence against women and impunity will be opened by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, General Assembly President Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa and Security Council President Dumisani Kumalo. Panellists will include Carlo Del Ponte, prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, Dillian Torres, president of Congress of the Republic of Colombia, Raghida Dergham, columnist and senior diplomatic correspondent of London-based Arabic daily Al Hayat, and others.

 

Organized by the Office of the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI), the second panel is entitled “Breaking Barriers:
Achieving Balance in Numbers and Work-life” and speakers include Dr. Asha Rose Migiro, Deputy Secretary General of the UN, Kyung-wha Kang, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights at the UN and others. It will be moderated by Rachel Mayanja, Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women.  
 

 

The day’s events at UN headquarters will culminate with a special screening of “Women In an Insecure World,” a film about the myriad forms of violence against women, in particular: trafficking for forced prostitution, domestic violence, female genital mutilation, rape during armed conflict and female infanticide. The film will be followed by a panel discussion and reception.

- Find out more: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/feature/iwd/2007/

 

3. COMPREHENSIVE WEBSITE DEVOTED TO IWD EVENTS ACROSS THE WORLD

A free registry and website of events being celebrated around the world for International Women’s Day is available via the Internet. The site currently lists 431 events in 42 countries around the world.  

- Take a look at: http://www.internationalwomensday.com/default.asp

 

4. A SELECTION OF GLOBAL EVENTS & INITIATIVES

GLOBAL WOMEN’S STRIKE

The Global Women's Strike, a UK-based organization, has linked with organizations in 13 countries to arrange demonstrations, talks and panels to demand economic and social recognition for women’s unwaged work as caregivers and the return of military budgets to the community and to women. The strike call demands a world that invests in caring not killing.  Activities around the world include:

- CHINA: Dressed in Strike T-shirts, women at universities will come together to screen videos and discuss the situation of rural women. The strike call and demands have been translated into Chinese and are being circulated among women.
-
GUYANA: Indigenous, Indo-Guyanese, Afro-Guyanese and mixed race Guyanese women will launch a united campaign for a living income, affordable access to goods and services, and protection from violence.
-
HAITI: Women will conduct a sit-in and speak out in front of UN building to protest the violence that has been perpetrated against women, as a result of the political and military situation in their country. 
-
INDIA: Coordinated by the NCMS (formerly Chhattisgarh Women’s Organisation), activities will include a meet where students, doctors, laborers, lawyers and housewives will come together to discuss the various problems faced by urban and rural women. Also, a march will unfold on International Women’s Day in Bilaigarh district and in Pithora, Dist. Mahasamund, on March 24.  Women’s issues under the bonded labor system will also be discussed at a national conference in Jalandhar, Punjab. 
-
IRELAND: A film entitled “Journey with Revolution” and a photo exhibit was shown in Galway on March 6 and will be shown in Dublin on March 8. This travelling media exhibit will find its way to Rossport, Mayo in West Ireland where women in that community will present their experiences of fighting conglomerate Shell Oil.

- JAPAN: Women will gather on March 8 for a rally where Strike’s message will be read out and discussed.
-
MEXICO: Oaxaca women will hold a mega march on March 8 and send a statement to be publicized by the organization.

- PALESTINE: Palestine women, in the front line of battle for survival, will hold several marches to Israeli checkpoints on March 8 and Strike will publicize their news.

- PERU: Peruvian women have launched a national domestic workers union, and on March 8, will picket the court to demand recognition for wage & unwaged work of women and in solidarity with women who have been raped.

- SPAIN: On March 6, a local square in Barcelona will be the venue for a gathering of mothers’ group, lesbian mothers, widows, all of whom will speak out about women’s work and recent legislation to pay women for their work as caregivers. The square will be decorated by children.

- UGANDA: Women will hold marches in war-torn Kaabong and Kampala to demand clean water for all, food security, peace and justice, respect for human rights, development and support for rural areas, women and girl child education, and accessible health care and treatment for all.
-
UK: Taking place on March 10, this gathering will include speakers and panels on violence against women, prostitution, race, racism and gender and advocacy.

- USA: On International Women’s Day, women will hold a speak out against the arrest of sex workers and in support of home health care services in San Francisco; mothers who have lost child custody to the state because they are poor will hold a weekly demonstration in Philadelphia; Public meeting with So’ Anne, Haitian activist and folk singer in Los Angeles; Welfare Warriors in Wisconsin will hold a “faxathon:” a mass faxing of the government department demanding fair treatment for families in poverty and people with disabilities, while screening two welfare rights movies.

Website: http://www.globalwomenstrike.net

 

Australia

GLOBAL EDUCATION TOUR

The International Women’s Development Agency has organized several events in Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart and Canberra to commemorate International Women’s Day. The organization will host Rohini Weeransinghe, Director of IWDA's Sri Lankan partner Kantha Shakthi, at these events as part of its Global Education Tour. She will speak about projects focusing on women, who are some of the most vulnerable survivors of the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami.

Website: www.iwda.org.au

 

CANADA

WOMEN IN TECHNOLOGY 2007

The Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS), a professional association providing leadership in information systems and technologies, will host “Women in Technology,” an annual program with local events in major cities across Canada aimed at increasing awareness among Canada’s female youth about careers in technology.  On March 8, CIPS will bring together women role models from a variety of technology fields to share their experiences and encourage students to stay in math and science throughout high school so they have the opportunity to join the technology fields.

Website: http://local.cips.ca/ottawa/womeninit.htm

 

24-hour live internet broadcast on women
The Women’s International Network of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC-WIN) will celebrate Women’s International Day with a 24-hour live internet broadcast dedicated to women and gender issues through the Internet. The theme for 2007 focuses on UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. This year marks the seven-year anniversary of a document that enforces a larger role for women within the framework of conflict resolution and reconstruction in war zones.  The resolution and its ramifications will be addressed in documentaries, interviews, debates, poetry and music produced by community radio producers from the four corners of the world.  Other programs will focus on themes like domestic violence and interviews with an AIDS victim/survivor.  Programs will be broadcast in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Filipino, and other languages.  Individual files are available for download.

Website: http://march8.amarc.org

 

CHILE

TOGETHER, FIGHTING FOR WOMEN’S RIGHTS

Amnesty International, Chile will coordinate an awareness raising campaign through the distribution of flowers to men.  The message “Together, Fighting for Women’s Rights,” will be attached to the flowers, which will be distributed at the Plaza de Armas and Providencia with Ricardo Lyon in Santiago, Chile.

Website: http://www.amnistia.cl/

 

FIJI

Picture This! Girls’ Photography Exhibit

The Fiji Women’s Rights Movement will host a three-month exhibit to highlight the talent of girls who have used photography to capture their concerns and perceptions of violence against women in Fiji.

Website: http://www.fwrm.org.fj/

 

IRAN

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: A CALL TO ACTION IN IRAN

Fired by the March 3 arrest of 33 prominent women activists in Tehran who were demonstrating peacefully against the unjust trial of five other grassroots leaders, the Organization for Women’s Liberation  in Iran will be holding gatherings, demonstrations and declaring "No to women's oppression!," "No to the veil!," "No to gender apartheid" and "Long live women's liberation."

Website: http://www.feministpeacenetwork.org/2007/02/28/international-womens-day-a-call-to-action-in-iran/

 

KENYA

KEBIRIGO-NYAMIRA WOMEN’S MARCH

The Massaba Rural Development Organization, which supports health and education programs, income generating activities, food security, housing and shelter, water and sanitation, is organizing the Kebirigo-Nyamira Women’s March against female genital mutilation.  The march aims to showcase the women who have participated in the Women’s Empowerment Program activities for 2007.

Visit: http://www.massaba.org/

 

KURDISTAN

International Conference on Kurdish Women for Peace and Equality

Dedicated to the memory of the late Ms. Soraya Serajeddini, former Executive Vice President of the Kurdish National Congress, this event will focus on the role of Kurdish women in politics, science, art and history inside Kurdistan and the diaspora, as well as on the marginal participation of women in politics, their increased participation and representation in positions of power, examination of the “gender” of politics, and the gender implications in political, scientific and artistic aspects of life in Kurdistan.

 

PUERTO RICO

FEMINISM IN THE LEGAL PROFESSION

The Women’s Commission and the Public Service Commission of the College of Lawyers, Puerto Rico, will host a discussion entitled “Feminism in the Legal Profession.”  The event will include speakers like the Liana Fiol Matta, associate judge of the Puerto Rican Supreme Court, Aleida Varona Méndez, Appellate Court judge and renowned feminist lawyer Ana Irma Rivera Lassén.

 

SWITZERLAND
Celebrate Working Women

Organized by the International Labor Organization, this annual roundtable will highlight the roles and achievements of women in a particular field of work. This year’s special guests include Anousheh Ansari, entrepreneur and first female private space explorer and Rabiatu Serah Diallo, general secretary of the Confédération Nationale des Travailleurs de Guinée (CNTG).

Website: http://www.ilo.org/public/english/bureau/inf/event/women/2007/index.htm

 

TANZANIA

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S PLAY DAYS

Right To Play – Tanzania, a humanitarian NGO committed to improving the lives of children and their communities through sports and play, will bring play days, sports and games to girls and women in school and NGOs in Dar es Salaam, Serengeti District, and Refugee Camps in Western Tanzania, near Kigoma, Kasulu and KibondoOrg'n.

For more information: http://www.righttoplay.com/site/PageServer

 

UNITED KINGDOM

PROSTITUTION: WHAT’S GOING ON?

The Women’s Library, a cultural center including a library, museum and archive, housing the most extensive collection of women’s history in the U.K, will host an exhibit, “Prostitution: What’s Going On?”  It will be a provocative and challenging exhibition challenging the topical and urgent issues of prostitution and trafficking for sexual exploitation, in historical and contemporary context.

For more information, visit: http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/thewomenslibrary/

 

USA

stop the (women) killings

As of February 2007, 832 community organizers, activists, church leaders and journalists have been victims of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines under the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo regime - 83 of these victims are women.  On March 8, the GABRIELA network will host a discussion with Attorney Tina Foster of the International Justice Network, about her experience as one of the members of an international all-female lawyer's group who went on to research the human rights situation in Philippines in June 2006. Foster is now banned from returning by the Philippine government 

 

A GLOBAL CELEBRATION OF MOTHERS

The International Museum of Women will hold a gala in San Francisco to highlight the Imagining Ourselves "Motherhood" campaign, in conjunction with the Global Women’s Action Network for Children to raise awareness and promote action on the urgent issues of global maternal health.  The “Motherhood” campaign exhibit online features submissions, from more than 30 countries from women in their 20s and 30s, about the joyous, mysterious, and complicated realities of modern motherhood.
Website: http://www.imow.org/

 

VIDEOCONFERENCE ON women’s global leadership

Young women leaders in New York City, the Philippines, Ecuador, and East Timor will meet via live video feed to discuss the topic of women’s global leadership and address the following questions: What unique characteristics do women bring to global leadership roles? What challenges and opportunities do you foresee the next generation of women leaders facing in your country?

Website:

http://www.benchmarkemail.com/link/redirect.asp?g=0&c=
140393&l=202518222&e=iwtc@iwtc.org&url=http://www.globalscholar.org/march8nyc>

 

Against All Odds: Women Partnering for Change in a Time of Crisis

This event will address how women’s rights and activism across the world are being threatened by rising religious fundamentalism, war and conflict, and government restrictions, including legislation that limits activities of civic organizations. While women are disproportionately affected by these phenomena, they are also key agents of change, upholding communities and families, and engaging in peaceful forms of resistance. Speakers will include Mahnaz Afkhami (Iran/USA), president of the Women's Learning Partnership and former minister for Women’s Affairs in Iran;

Asma Khader Asma Khader (Jordan), a leading advocate of the campaign to strengthen legislation outlawing honor killing, a member of the Permanent Arab Court as Counsel on violence against women; and Sindi Medar-Gould (Nigeria), executive director of BAOBAB for Women’s Human Rights and chairperson of the Nigeria Coalition on the International Criminal Court. It will be moderated by Azar Nafisi, author of “Reading Lolita in Tehran,” and a visiting scholar at the SAIS Foreign Policy Institute and Director of the SAIS Dialogue Project at Johns Hopkins University.

 

IWTC Women's GlobalNet is a production of:
International Women's Tribune Centre
777 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017, USA
Tel: (1-212) 687-8633
Fax: (1-212) 661-2704
Email: <iwtc@iwtc.org>
Web: <https://www.iwtc.org>

PLEASE NOTE:
For back issues of IWTC Women's GlobalNet, go to our NEW WEBSITE AT <iwtc.org> and click on GlobalNet.

You can subscribe to this list at any time by sending a blank message to:
<iwtc-womensglobalnet-subscribe@igc.topica.com>

You can unsubscribe to this list at any time by sending a blank message to:<iwtc-womensglobalnet-unsubscribe@igc.topica.com>

WOMEN, INK.
For publications on women and development by, for and about women worldwide, write for Women, Ink's catalogue, or view it at the NEWLY REFORMULATED WOMEN, INK. WEBSITE AT <http://www.womenink.org>.

Contact Women, Ink. at 777 United Nations Plaza,
New York, NY 10017, USA. Tel: (1-212) 687-8633 ext. 204. Fax: (1-212) 661-2704. E-mail: <wink@iwtc.org>

To subscribe to the Women, Ink.’s monthly bulletin "BookLink", which features new titles constantly being added to the Women, Ink. collection, write to: <wink@iwtc.org>