International Women’s Day

International Women's Day Around the World

Date: 10 March 2017

On and around International Women’s Day, 8 March, a rich diversity of initiatives celebrated women’s achievements, activism and potential. UN Women, along with partners, organized events in more than 50 countries across the globe, under the theme of “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”. From film festivals, solidarity marches, seminars and press conferences to art exhibits and activities to engage girls in sport, here are some highlights from the occasion. 

New York

Anne Hathaway delivers keynote address in her first public appearance as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown
Anne Hathaway delivers keynote address in her first public appearance as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

At the UN Headquarters in New York, International Women’s Day was commemorated through a special event that brought together activists, celebrities, business industry leaders, UN senior officials and Member States. In her first public appearance as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, American award-winning actor Anne Hathaway delivered a keynote address, focusing on the issue of unpaid care work and paid parental leave. A panel discussion featuring prominent speakers from governments, the UN, activists and private sector representatives followed, moderated by ABC News anchor Sade Baderinwa. Read more>

Also on International Women’s Day, in partnership with the iconic Lincoln Centre and the City of New York, UN Women launched the HeforShe Arts Week. Now in its second year, the HeforShe Arts Week is commemorated annually for one week with the aim of raising awareness and funding for gender equality through the arts. More than 60 cultural institutions will join the New York events including the Empire State Building, the MET and Guggenheim Museums, Gotham Comedy Club, and the Tribeca Film Festival, along with events across eight cities from London to Sao Paulo. Read more>

Tanzania

Minister for Gender Ummy Mwalimau and UN Women Representative Maria Karadenizli participate in the sweet potato plantation ceremony with women farmers of Singida, Tanzania. Photo credit: UN Women Tanzania/Deepika Nath
Minister for Gender Ummy Mwalimau and UN Women Representative Maria Karadenizli participate in the sweet potato planting ceremony with women farmers of Singida, Tanzania. Photo credit: UN Women Tanzania/Deepika Nath

In Tanzania, The Minister for Gender, Ummy Mwalimau, inaugurated a UN Women-funded Women's Economic Empowerment Center for value addition in Singida, Tanzania. The Minister, along with the UN Women Rep, received a procession of women’s groups from the region, and government representatives reiterated commitments to renew efforts in promoting women in the formal sector through business formalization, enterprise development and entrepreneurship trainings. The pilot model of the value addition center was recommended for nationwide implementation, scaling the impact to more women in Tanzania.

Turkey 

Ring the bell for gender equality at Istanbul Stock Exchange. Photo: UN Women
Ring the bell for gender equality at Istanbul Stock Exchange. Photo: UN Women

On International Women’s Day, Istanbul Stock Exchange (Borsa Istanbul) hosted an opening bell ceremony in partnership with UN Women, UN Global Compact and IFC to highlight the importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment to sustainable development and business. The Minister of Family and Social Policies, Ms. Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya joined the bell ringing ceremony where 74 new companies that signed the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) were announced. The total number of WEPs signatories in Turkey has increased to 150 now making it the 2nd country in the world with the highest number of WEPs signatories.

Mexico

Mexico City launches 17 new Atenea bus units that will offer safe public transportation for women. Photo: UN Women Mexico
Mexico City launches 17 new Atenea bus units that will offer safe public transportation for women. Photo: UN Women Mexico

In partnership with UN Women in Mexico, the Federal Institute of Telecommunications organized a Forum on Media, Women and Telecommunications. During the forum, the Institute presented a study about how Mexican women perceive themselves on the media.  Mexico City commemorated the International Women’s Day with the acquisition of 17 new Atenea bus units that will offer safe public transportation for women, as part of UN Women's flagship programme "Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces for women and girls". UN Women also joined the women’s movement in a half-hour work stoppage to reflect on the status of women. The Mexican Museum of Memory and Tolerance joined UN Women’s HeForShe movement and committed to display more exhibitions with gender perspectives and conduct gender studies. 

Cabo Verde

Prime Minister of Cape Verde,  Ulisses Correia e Silva visits women market vendors. Photo: Ekvity dos Santos
Prime Minister of Cape Verde,  Ulisses Correia e Silva visits women market vendors. Photo: Ekvity dos Santos

In Cabo Verde, Prime Minister Ulisses Correia e Silva visited women market vendors in the Plateau Market in Praia on International Women's Day. In partnership with the Network of Women Parliamentarians and UN Women, the Prime Minister delivered flowers and messages of empowerment to the women who earn their livelihood by selling goods at the marketplace.

Albania

Youth in Albania stand up for gender equality and women’s rights. Photo: UN Women Albania
Youth in Albania stand up for gender equality and women’s rights. Photo: UN Women Albania

The Municipality of Tirana, the only municipality in Albania where women have the majority in the local council, singed the European Charter for Equality of Women and Men in Local Life. The commemoration event also discussed key issues impacting women in Albania, such as women’s right to property. Youth from different faith communities were also engaged through trainings focused on gender equality and women’s rights. They came up with a unified message: “A healthy society promotes, encourages and believes in a woman’s empowerment and her contribution.” 

Serbia 

Participants at "Women at work: double burden” panel event. Photo: UN Women Serbia
Participants at "Women at work: double burden” panel event. Photo: UN Women Serbia

The UN organized an event entitled “Women at work: double burden” to discuss the inequalities women are faced with in their everyday life, especially in the field of waged labour and domestic work. In a bid to draw attention to women’s “double burden”, the Coordination Body for Gender Equality of the Republic of Serbia, the UN Country Team in Serbia, the EU Info Center and the EU Delegation to Serbia jointly organized a panel discussion in the EU Info Center. The opening remarks were given by Milana Rikanovic, Head of UN Women in Serbia, Branka Draskovic, Special Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister and President of the Coordination Body for Gender Equality. Following a short movie, produced by UN Serbia, participants engaged in a lively debate. The event generated 34 reports in the national media.

India 

Passengers on Delhi Metro pose in front of women's empowerment campaign poster. Photo: UN Women/Vandinika Shukla
Passengers on Delhi Metro pose in front of women's empowerment campaign poster. Photo: UN Women/Vandinika Shukla
On International Women’s Day, UN Women launched a one-month campaign branding four trains of the Delhi Metro with messaging on gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. Two trains each on the Blue Line and Yellow Line will showcase ‘Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030’, drawing attention to the need for equal pay for work of equal value, recognizing and sharing unpaid care work, as well as making workplaces, public spaces and homes violence free. Read more>> 

The Bombay Stock Exchange was one of 40 stock exchanges around the world that joined UN Women, the UN Global Compact, Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative, the International Finance Corporation, World Federation of Exchanges and Women in ETFs in raising awareness about the importance of gender equality to both business and sustainable development. On 8 March, UN Women joined private sector representatives in a ‘Ring The Bell’ event at the Bombay Stock Exchange, followed by a panel discussion on women’s participation and leadership in the workforce. 

Colombia 

Ring the Bell" event at the opening of the Bogotá Stock Exchange. Photo: UN Women Colombia
Ring the Bell" event at the opening of the Bogotá Stock Exchange. Photo: UN Women Colombia

In Bogota, UN Women participated in a "Ring the Bell" event at the opening of the Bogotá Stock Exchange, along with the President of the Bogota Stock Exchange, the Presidential Adviser for Women's Equity, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Colombia, the UN Women Representative and business leaders who publicly committed to advancing women's rights. UN Women also organized a two-day event to analyze the effective participation of women and their social organizations in peacebuilding at the territorial level, with an emphasis on economic justice and empowerment of women. 

Barbados 

Photo: UN Women/Sharon Carter-Burke
Photo: UN Women/Sharon Carter-Burke

The Barbados Coalition of Service Industries (BCSI) and UN Women Caribbean office organized a seminar to discuss “Women in the Changing World of Work”. Participants included students, entrepreneurs, and young professionals, who heard from women from all walks of life sharing their experiences of overcoming obstacles and their determination to propel themselves in their chosen areas of work.

Photos: UN Women/Sharon Carter-Burke

Burundi

Women farmers participate in the International Women’s Day. Photo: UN Women/Burundi
Women farmers participate in the International Women’s Day. Photo: UN Women/Burundi

Burundi celebrated International Women's Day focusing on the issue of environmental protection for food security and women’s empowerment. The country is experiencing severe impact of climate change, and women, a large proportion of whom rely on farming and are responsible for gathering fuel and water, and supplying food, are particularly impacted. The event advocated for the rights of women to education, access to land and resources and called for a constitutional amendment to ensure 50 per cent quota for women’s representation. 

6 March

Kazakhstan

Young people admire the "Yes, She Can" photo exhibit. Photo: UN Women/Aijamal Duishebaeva
Young people admire the "Yes, She Can" photo exhibit. Photo: UN Women/Aijamal Duishebaeva

In four cities in Kazakhstan, the "Yes, She Can" photo exhibitions displayed photos of women working in male-dominated professions. The week-long exhibition including photos of women in professions such as pilot, police women, mariner, football player, border guard and engineer was estimated to be seen by more than 800,000 people.

Myanmar 

UN Women facilitates "The Future is Female” session, where participants discussed the importance of reducing the gender gap in employment. Photo: KBZ Group
UN Women facilitates "The Future is Female” session, where participants discussed the importance of reducing the gender gap in employment. Photo: KBZ Group

Led by UN Women in Myanmar, the UN Global Compact Network, KBZ Group and Myanmar’s Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, 148 Myanmar business leaders pledged to uphold and apply the Women’s Empowerment Principles to promote greater equality within their respective practices. Jointly developed by UN Women and Global Compact, the seven Principles provided businesses with guidance and tools on advancing and empowering women in the workplace, marketplace and the community. 

In keeping with this year’s International Women’s Day theme of “Women in the Changing World of Work,” KBZ Group launched an inaugural forum on “Creating Inclusive Growth” in Nay Pyi Taw on 6 March. The Forum was attended by 222 participants including Aung San Suu Kyi, Head of the Myanmar Government, other dignitaries, government, civil society and business leaders, as well as UN representatives. In addition to leading the pledge signing ceremony, UN Women launched the global HeforShe campaign at the Forum, and facilitated a session titled “The Future is Female”, where participants discussed the economic importance of reducing the gender gap in employment and explored various business models aimed at integrating more women into the workforce. 

For more photos from events around the world, see UN Women's Flickr album