Tag Archives: Women’s rights

The International Women’s Day 2015: Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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Woman is the companion of man, gifted with equal mental capacity… If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man’s superior… If non-violence is the law of our being, the future is with women… – Mahatma Gandhi

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International Women's Day 2015 (Photo: UN Women/Fernando Bocanegra)
International Women’s Day 2015 (Photo: UN Women/Fernando Bocanegra)

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On March 8th every year, the day originally known as the International Working Women’s Day, people around the world celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD).

In 1975, during International Women’s Year, the United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8th. Two years later, in December 1977, the United Nations General Assembly recognized the role of women in peace efforts and development and urged an end to discrimination and increase support for women’s full and equal participation. To this to effect, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women Rights and International Peace observed on any day of the year according to their historical and national traditions by Member States.

The Beijing Platform for Action

The International Women’s Day 2015 celebrated globally today will highlight the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a historic roadmap signed by 189 governments 20 years ago that sets the agenda for realizing women’s rights. While there have been many achievements since then, many serious gaps remain.

On this day, the focus is on upholding women’s achievements, recognize challenges, and pay greater attention to women’s rights and gender equality to mobilize all people to do their part. The Beijing Platform for Action focuses on 12 critical areas of concern, and envisions a world where each woman and girl can exercise her choices, such as participating in politics, getting an education, having an income, and living in societies free from violence and discrimination.

To this end, the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is the clarion call of UN Women’s Beijing+20 campaign “Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture it!”

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Equality for Women is Progress for All …


. Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj.

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Equality for women is progress for all.”

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Frauentag 1914 Heraus mit dem Frauenwahlrecht (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Frauentag 1914 Heraus mit dem Frauenwahlrecht (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

A century ago, the above poster in German for International Women’s Day, March 8th, 1914, proclaimed:

“Give Us Women’s Suffrage. Women’s Day, March 8, 1914. Until now, prejudice and reactionary attitudes have denied full civic rights to women, who as workers, mothers, and citizens wholly fulfill their duty, who must pay their taxes to the state as well as the municipality. Fighting for this natural human right must be the firm, unwavering intention of every woman, every female worker. In this, no pause for rest, no respite is allowed. Come all, you women and girls, to the 9th public women’s assembly on Sunday, March 8, 1914, at 3pm.”

Today, though equality for women has made positive gains, still inequality remains in most part of the world.

Women’s rights activists across the world celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) annually on March 8; and this day has been marked by the United Nations since 1975.

The official United Nations theme for International Women’s Day 2014 is “Equality for women is progress for all.

The first National Women’s Day was observed on February 28, 1909 in the United States following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America.

The day developed as a Socialist political event, and was formerly called International Working Women’s Day. The earliest observances of the day were held on different dates: May 3, 1908, in Chicago; February 28th, 1909, and on February 27, 1910, in New York.

The Working Women’s Day was celebrated primarily in Russia, and to a certain extent in many other countries in Europe. In some countries, the day became an amalgamation of Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day, and for men to express their gratitude and love for women.

In August 1910, before the general meeting of the Socialist Second International in Copenhagen, an International Women’s Conference was organized. At that conference, German Socialist Luise Zietz proposed to institute an annual “International Woman’s Day” (note it is singular) as to promote equal rights, including suffrage, for women. The proposition was seconded by fellow socialist and later communist leader Clara Zetkin. However, no date was fixed then. A Hundred woman delegates from 17 countries agreed to the motion.

The following year, on March 19, 1911, for the first time, over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland observed IWD. There were around 300 demonstrations in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In Vienna, women paraded on the Ringstraße (Ringstrasse) carrying banners to honour the martyrs of the Paris Commune.

Women demanded that women be given the right to vote and to hold public office. They also protested against discrimination for employment based on gender.

The American women, however, continued to celebrate its National Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February. In 1913, Russian women too observed their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February, according to the Julian calendar then used in Russia.

There were some women-led strikes, marches, and other protests in the years leading up to 1914, but none of them took place on March 8.

In 1914 International Women’s Day was held on March 8, presumably because that day was a Sunday. From then on IWD is always held on March 8 in all countries.

International Women's Day (Source: theobamacrat.com)
International Women’s Day (Source: theobamacrat.com)

International Women’s Day 2014 is the subject of the latest doodle displayed on Google’s home page. The Doodle video features over a 100 inspiring women from around the world. It includes the president of Lithuania, a brave Pakistani education activist, the most recorded artist in music history and an ever-curious explorer. The full list of women in this video on our doodle site.

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“A Promise Is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women”


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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Woman is the companion of man, gifted with equal mental capacity… If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man’s superior… If non-violence is the law of our being, the future is with women… – Mahatma Gandhi

A promise is a promise - the theme for International Women’s Day 2013

On March 8th every year, the day originally known as the International Working Women’s Day, people around the world celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) focusing on respect, appreciation and love towards women and to celebrate the achievements of women in economic, political and social arena without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. It is an occasion for looking back on past struggles and accomplishments of women, and for looking ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women.

This day was originally known as the International Working Women’s Day. In 1975, during International Women’s Year, the United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8th. Two years later, in December 1977, the United Nations General Assembly recognized the role of women in peace efforts and development and urged an end to discrimination and increase support for women’s full and equal participation. To this to effect, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women Rights and International Peace observed on any day of the year according to their historical and national traditions by Member States.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day: “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women” seeks to strengthen international community’s commitment to put an end to violence against women – a gross human rights violation that affects up to 70% women.

As part of the effort the UN leads to fight violence against women, UNiTE campaign, the United Nations Secretary-Generals Ban Ki-moon’s “Unite to End Violence Against Women” calls on all governments, civil society, women’s organizations, men, young people, the private sector, the media and the entire UN system to join forces in addressing this global pandemic.

The song “One Woman” written for UN Women and performed by acclaimed singers and musicians from China to Costa Rica, from Mali to Malaysia spreads a message of unity and solidarity. The song is a rallying cry to inspire listeners to join the drive for women’s rights and gender equality, and overcome violence and discrimination against women.

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Vos Humanum Quo Vadis


European Feminists Gang Up on Children’s Fairy Tales

by Svetlana Smetanina 

11.12.2012

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Fairy Tale

European kindergartens and schools may ban children’s books and fairy tales that depict the traditional family. This is a request of the European Parliament Committee on Women’s Rights. According to the committee, fairy tales should talk about sexual diversity. Norwegian experts believe that children benefit from watching porn.

The European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality prepared a report that calls for a ban of all books that show the traditional family where the father is the breadwinner and the mother takes care of the children in schools and day care centers of Europe. According to the authors, these books are bad for the future life of children, especially girls, and promote wrong behavioral patterns. In the future, it may prevent them from building a career.

Feminists are concerned that children from an early age are constantly faced with “negative gender stereotypes” in television shows and commercials. The word “negative” in the report is synonymous with the word “traditional”. Over time, the ban would be extended to television and advertising. So far it was decided to start with books.

The authors of the report strongly recommend urgent legislative measures in the field of children’s literature. In particular, they suggest introducing a policy of “equality of all social sectors.” An example of alternative children’s literature is a book “King and King” with kissing men on the cover. According to the report, this would help children to learn about the “true sexual diversity of society.”

In fact, such measures have already been taken in some countries, particularly in Scandinavian ones that consider themselves the vanguard of Western democracy. “Pravda.Ru” once reported about a Swedish toy manufacturer that issued a catalog before Christmas where girls were pictured shooting imaginary enemies with laser guns, and boys were depicted playing with dolls.

This was a requirement of the Swedish advertising regulator who accused the toy manufacturer of sexism and imposition of negative gender stereotypes. Norwegian kindergartens in 2010 introduced a program of compulsory sex education focusing on sexual minorities.

The report of the European Parliament also insisted that “homosexuality should be taught in kindergarten as a form of experience and knowledge.” According to them, this will expand the concept of “gender identity” for children. “Sexual diversity should be obvious to children. Children need to know that this is normal when your parents are gay or lesbian.”

For some reason, not all parents are willing to believe that this is “normal.” In Norway Muslim community strongly opposed such education in kindergartens. They threatened to withdraw their children from such institutions or create an alternative.

For the “dark” parents who are not aware of the latest trends in sex education in modern society, Norway’s largest newspaper VG Nett recently published an opinion of psychologists and sex therapists who said that it was beneficial for children to watch porn on the internet.

“Parents should not be afraid of their children’s sexuality. Conversely, from a health perspective it is beneficial to watch porn at a time when parents and children talk openly about these issues,” said psychologist and sex researcher Andres Lindskog.

He was commenting on a statement recently issued by an expert from the organization Save the Children, who expressed concern about the fact that increasingly more children and teenagers were addicted to watching pornographic sites on the Internet.

Anders Lindskog is convinced that there is no addiction or harm from this. “It’s important for parents to understand that children are born with sexuality and follow their biology. Children have the same feelings as adults,” said the expert.

After that, should we be surprised that the number of cases of pedophilia is growing in Norway? They mostly occur within the family. A few days ago, newspapers wrote about another such case. A couple, a husband and wife, subjected their three children under 10 years of age to violence and sexual perversions for years.

The children confirmed the violence to the police. But that does not mean that the punishment will be sufficiently severe. In Norway, pedophilia is considered a disease and is listed in the Medical Register. For this reason, pedophiles are given short sentences – from several months to several years. In some cases punishment could be limited to penalty only. In the end, parents can always say that they practiced “diversity of sexual relations.”

Pravda.Ru 

Read the original in Russian

Re-posted from pravda.ru