Celebrated annually on 8 March, the 2014 theme for International Women’s Day is: “Equality for women is progress for all”.
To mark the International Women’s Day on 8 March, UN Women India, in collaboration with UN India, has launched a campaign on the theme of ‘Empowering Women: Inspiring Change’.
About International Women’s Day
The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March during International Women’s Year 1975. Two years later, in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.
International Women’s Day first emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe. Since those early years, International Women’s Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. The growing international women’s movement, which has been strengthened by four global United Nations women’s conferences, has helped make the commemoration a rallying point to build support for women’s rights and participation in the political and economic arenas.
Increasingly, International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.
Join the conversation for #IWD2014 !
This year, International Women’s Day will be commemorated at UN headquarters in New York on 7 March, on the eve of the 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, which begins on 10 March.
The event is expected to be attended by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, as well as United States Senator and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, among other dignitaries.
Marking International Women’s Day, a panel of guests from Government of India, UNICEF, UN Women, the International Center for Research on Women, Jagori, Google, UNICEF led programme called Deepshikha, and Barclays discussed the situation of women and girls in India, what the Government and other stakeholders are doing about it, what are the schemes and programmes to promote gender equality and women/girls empowerment, the key priorities for the Government, the UN and civil society organizations in this area, as well as recommendations for the way forward.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the European Union and UN Women jointly organized a one-day conference. During this event, homage was paid to remarkable Indian women and organizations who have been inspiring positive change in critical areas of women’s empowerment.
A new European Union Film ‘Women who Inspire’ on inspiring women in India, and a report titled ‘Hearts and Minds,’ was also launched at the event.
The report captures the voices and hopes for change of hundreds of elected women representatives in five states across India. This report is aimed at sharing the “lived experiences” of women and girls in India and ensuring that the voice are meaningfully reflected in the emerging post-2015 development discourse and agenda.
Dr. Rebecca Tavares, Representative, UN Women Multi Country Office for India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka highlights the achievements and challenges of women’s advancement in India. Ms Tavares says that while the participation of women at grassroots level and other levels of society has increased, a lot still needs to be done in terms of economic opportunities, access to labour market and literacy levels of women in India.
Rada Boric, Vice-President, European Women’s Lobby and Director, Centre for Women’s Studies, Zagreb, Croatia says that women’s rights are human rights, and that women deserve equal distribution of power in all spheres, be it economy or politics.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2014 – celebrated on March 8 around the world – UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka stresses that “progress for women is progress for all.” Celebrating progress already made for women’s rights, women’s empowerment and gender equality, she further urged women, men, youth, and leaders of nations, communities, religion and commerce to recommit to making gender equality a global reality.
This International Women’s Day, we are highlighting the importance of achieving equality for women and girls not simply because it is a matter of fairness and fundamental human rights, but because progress in so many other areas depends on it.
Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth. Companies with more women leaders perform better. Peace agreements that include women are more durable. Parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support.
Today we join the people of the world in celebration of the progress made for women’s rights, women’s empowerment and gender equality. We also acknowledge that progress has been slow, uneven and in some cases women and girls face new and more complex challenges.