United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)

UNIFEM South Asia Office

International Women's Day 2007

(Source - http://www.un.org/womenwatch/feature/iwd/)

In 1975, during International Women's Year, the United Nations began celebrating 8 March as International Women's Day. 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. For the United Nations, International Women's Day has been observed on 8 March since 1975. The Day is traditionally marked with a message from the Secretary-General.
The theme for 2007 is: Ending impunity for violence against women

International Women's Day is marked by women's groups around the world. When women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice.

At Paro, in Bhutan, on 8th March, awareness will be created on the theme “Ending Impunity for Violence Against Women” through exhibitions organized by RENEW ((Respect, Educate, Nurture and Empower Women) volunteers, the Reproductive Health Unit, the STI and HIV/AIDS Unit, and the Information and Communication Bureau of the Ministry of Health of the Royal Government of Bhutan; and through the media with extensive nation wide coverage. Local women’s associations will also participate in the exhibitions. The exhibitions will be open to the general public, students and tourists. Over 600 people (including the community of Paro, students and tourists) are expected to attend.

Her Majesty Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuck, President of RENEW and the UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador will grace the day’s programme as the Chief Guest. Mr. Nicholas Rosellini, RC of the UN System in Bhutan and Dasho (Dr.) Gado Tshering, Chairperson, National Commission for Women and Children; Member, Steering Committee, RENEW; and Secretary, Ministry of Health, will also be present.

In India, UNIFEM is joining hands with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India and its partners, to celebrate International Women’s Day. The partners include: the Rashtriya Mahila Kosh, the Central Social Welfare Board, UNICEF, UNFPA and the Hunger Project. The collective effort will be a week long celebration to commemorate the achievements of women across the country in different fields and acknowledge her as an equal, participating and critical member of society.

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‘Ananya’, which means rare, extraordinary, with no comparison, will be the theme for International Women’s Day 2007 celebrated in India. The celebration will be designed in ways which will highlight a women’s role in society and give them a platform to voice their needs and demand their rights.

Hoarding new Ansal Plaza, New Delhi ››

The theme will be highlighted using the slogan – ‘From survival to success – celebrate her life’. This slogan will be carried forward in banners, posters, pamphlets, boarding passes and hoardings. The ceremony will also be divided into different sections each highlighting survival, success and celebration. The theme will further focus on all seven colours of the rainbow – expressing the true spirit, resilience and leadership of the women of this country.

Planned Events:

1. A week long film festival, beginning on 5th March, to be inaugurated by the Minister for Information and Broadcasting

2.   A specially designed flag, common to all groups working on women's empowerment and gender equality, will be unfurled by Ms. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson, United Progressive Alliance (UPA), at the National Stadium, New Delhi, on 6th March. Almost 5,000 women, from different walks of life will congregate at the Stadium for this function

3. Laying of the foundation stone of a Working Women’s Hostel for women from the North East, on 7th March, by the Prime Minister or the Minister of the Ministry of Women and Child Development

4. Release of 4 IWD commemorative stamps on 8th March, by the Vice President

5. Ten women achievers will be honoured with a citation and a shawl by Mr. Somnath Chatterjee, the Hon'ble Speaker of the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament), on 9th March at the National Museum Auditorium, New Delhi. The achievers will be women who have blazed a trail in different professions, such as sports, law, politics, medical, defence services, entrepreneurship, as well as women who have made significant contributions to marginalized communities and in responding to the feminization of the HIV/AIDS epidemic

6. Talk shows & cross-words and media to focus on women’s issues for a week

7.  Messages and announcements by airlines and railways (behind boarding cards and on CC TVs at railway stations)

From the 1st - 30th March, UNIFEM and the Positive Women’s Network are organizing a series of events that focus on the linkages between gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS. The envisaged activities under ‘Empowering HIV + women to protect their legal rights and to fight against gender-based violence’ include: a week long campaign on legal literacy and stopping violence against women living with HIV/AIDS in Cochin (Kerala) and Chennai (Tamil Nadu); a training programme on building the capacity of women living with HIV/AIDS, on women’s rights and HIV; a district level advocacy campaign on violence against women living with HIV/AIDS. Street plays will be held, a walk undertaken and awareness material such as pamphlets and posters distributed to enable sensitization with diverse stakeholders - these would include young people in colleges, Government officials, people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as the general public.

From 1st – 30th March, activities focusing on ‘Men as Partners for Fight against Gender Based Violence and HIV/AIDS’ are being organized in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, in partnership with SAHAYOG. The overall objective is to achieve an increased unacceptability of violence against women and girls in Uttar Pradesh, including widespread understanding on gender and human rights issues among men and boys. It also aims to create a supportive environment for the prevention of HIV/AIDS.

The envisaged activities include: an awareness campaign with University students in rural areas in 3 districts of the state of Uttar Pradesh; a workshop in Gorakhpur district; and the production of multi-media communication and training material on masculinities, role of men and prevention of gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS.

In Nepal, UNIFEM is partnering the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, Government of Nepal and its partners, to celebrate International Women’s Day.  These include UN agencies, NGOs and INGOs.

Spread out over a week, its activities focus on Information Dissemination, Awareness and Advocacy, with “A Common Voice of All Women: Proportional Representation of Women for Attaining Equal Rights in All Sectors”, as the national theme.

UNIFEM is closely involved in the following events:

4th – 14th March, 2007: A White Ribbon Campaign for a week. This is being held in Kathmandu and select districts of Nepal in partnership with the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare and Save the Children, Sweden. The focus will be on disseminating information on the White Ribbon Campaign, emphasizing the importance of working with men and boys to end violence against women and girls.

21st March, 2007: A Round Table discussion on Domestic Violence Policy and Legislations is being organized by the UN System in Nepal with the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare. Three Round Tables are being organized, namely 1) General Legal Framework on Domestic Violence and Steps Forward for preparing a comprehensive legal review; 2) Response Mechanism; 3) Prevention, Information and Awareness. The objective is to receive inputs and advice from experts towards developing: 1) a comprehensive bill on domestic violence in line with international standards; 2) a response mechanism for victims of domestic violence; 3) conducting an annual national information campaign on domestic violence.

12th March, 2007: A workshop on increased participation of women in the Electoral Process is being supported by the UN System in Nepal in partnership with the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare on 12th March 2007. Efforts will be made to sensitize selected political actors and key leaders on increased participation and representation of women in the electoral process. Key issues in the areas of electoral law, the constituent assembly and voter education processes, will be identified and emphasized. The overall objective is to build the capacity of political stakeholders to promote an increased participation of women in the overall electoral process.

A Press Meet is being organized by the Information Working Group of the UN System, to brief on various issues affecting/concerning Nepali women. By collectively raising voice, the Meet hopes to bring these to the attention of concerned stakeholders.

8th March, 2007: In partnership with Shanti Malika, a network of NGOs working on Peace issues, a women’s rally is being organized. Banners, caps, sashes, jackets with slogans and captions, advocating for women’s proportional participation in politics and peace, especially through constituent assembly elections, will be some of the materials, that will be shared.

8th – 13th March, 2007: In partnership with Pourakhi, a NGO of migrant women workers, UNIFEM is organizing a Media Campaign on ‘Protecting the Rights of Women Migrant Workers’. This will be held in Kathmandu and in 16 districts in the eastern region of Nepal. In Kathmandu, consultations will be held with media groups to share experiences of women migrant workers, as well as other relevant information in relation to the protection of their rights.

In the districts, through media networks, consultations will be held on safe migration. They will involve women migrant workers, their families, local government bodies and other networks. Information on the issues of women migrant workers will be collected for purposes of dissemination and advocacy, as well as to raise awareness on issues related to protecting the rights of migrant workers.


International Women's Day (History)

International Women's Day (8 March) is an occasion marked by women's groups around the world. This date is also commemorated at the United Nations and is designated in many countries as a national holiday. When women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice...

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International Women's Day 2006

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