Tapiwa Moyo, 40, religiously leaves her home each day when the first cock crows and joins a throng of women who have taken up artisanal mining in her community.
"Here we empower women and we do not tolerate domestic violence, which we treat as our own, not as an intra-family, issue," says Lurdinha Lopes, a leader of the squatting movement in Brazil.
I am one of millions of women who posted #MeToo on social media. The call to post was like a flash of light that brought back vivid memories of cat calls, male colleagues making passes, lewd jokes, men rubbing their bodies against mine in packed buses and trains and a man in an act of public sexual self-gratification on the subway.
When we celebrate the International Women’s Day (IWD) this year we shine the brightest light on the vast majority of women - especially in developing countries that live and work in rural areas and whose empowerment is about bringing the farthest left behind to the forefront of being the prime beneficiaries and drivers of sustainable development, peace and security, human rights and humanitarian action.
Information and communication technologies have the potential to open up new worlds of ideas and the media - television, newspapers, advertising, blogs, social networks, film – is increasingly omnipresent in the lives of many of us. In line with one of the major themes of this year’s Commission on the Status of Women, UNESCO is assessing how the media and ICTs shape the lives of women.
In the next seven days two of the biggest events that drive the women’s equality agenda will energize all well-meaning people of the world. The first on 8 March the International Women’s Day will assert renewed energy for women’s activism for peace, rights and development.
March 8, 2018 International Women’s Day offers another opportunity to reflect on the progress made towards gender equality and women’s political rights.
The world has seen tremendous economic growth over the last decades, which has led to poverty reduction and increased welfare for millions of people. Environmental sustainability and social inclusiveness are key to the resilience of these gains and continued growth. “Leaving no one behind” as we navigate a shift towards green economies must be woven throughout the growth and development agendas.
Women’s role in the workplace is at the heart the International Women’s Day commemoration. Even though it first celebrated a demonstration by women workers in New York in 1857, it was the killing of nearly 150 young women workers in a sweatshop, engulfed by a massive fire in just 20 minutes, which marked the modern celebration of International Women’s Day
, in New York’s Triangle Shirtwaist Factory on 25 March 1911.
Since its explosion onto the social media landscape at the end of 2017, the #metoo movement has continued to gain global traction. Initially centred on powerful Hollywood women breaking decades of silence about sexual abuse and harassment in the industry, the conversation soon spread across global regions and sectors, from #YoTambien
in the Spanish-speaking world to #balancetonporc
in French. From China
in Arabic. From national governments
to international development
, the stories are grim, and their pervasiveness has been jarring.
In the semi-lit makeshift tent covered with strips of cardboard, five women sit in a huddle. As their young children, covered in specks of mud and soot, move around noisily, the women try to hush them down. Hollow-eyed and visibly malnourished, all the women also appear afraid.
From the Argentine slogan "Ni una menos" (Not one [woman] less)" to Colombia’s “Now is not the time to remain silent”, activism against gender violence has grown in Latin America since 2015, with campaigns that have social and cultural differences from the "MeToo" movement that emerged later, in 2017, in the United States.
When Mandelena became a mother, she was only 16. During the prolonged dry season in Gwor County, South Sudan, her community saw crops failing and cattle dying. Children stopped going to school because of hunger and women and girls had to walk up to five hours every day to collect water.
The numbers are hard to fathom. Nearly two million people driven from their homes in 2017 alone. The worst cholera epidemic of the past 15 years, with over 55,000 cases and more than 1,000 deaths. Countless others killed, maimed or sexually assaulted.
Adelaida Marca, an Aymaran indigenous woman who produces premium oregano in Socoroma, in the foothills of the Andes in the far north of Chile, embodies the recovery of heirloom seeds, and is a representative of a workforce that supports thousands of people and of a future marked by greater gender equality.
As a student in Rome, the closest event that left a mark in my life was the Women’s March in the Italian capital. The march allowed me to contribute to the empowerment of women and to demonstrate that no woman is free-- even if one’s rights are being violated. #MeToo.
In 1909, the Socialist Party of America, in support of female garment workers protesting working conditions, designated March 8 as a day to honor women. By 1917, women in Russia were protesting for ‘bread and peace’ against a backdrop of war. In recognition of that protest and women’s suffrage in Soviet Russia, The International Socialist movement designated March 8 as International Women’s Day.
International Women's Day is a call to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of women and a reminder that globally, we are a long way from achieving gender equality.