Why dedicate a day exclusively to the celebration
of the world's women?
The United Nations
General Assembly, composed of delegates from every Member
State, celebrates International Women's Day to recognize that
peace and social progress require the active participation
and equality of women, and to acknowledge the contribution
of women to international peace and security.
For the women
of the world, the Day is an occasion to review how far they
have come in their struggle for equality, peace and development.
might think that women's equality benefits mostly women, but
every one-percentile growth in female secondary schooling
results in a 0.3 percent growth in the economy. Yet girls
are often kept from receiving education in the poorest countries
that would best benefit from the economic growth.
Until the men
and women work together to secure the rights and full potential
of women, lasting solutions to the world's most serious social,
economic and political problems are unlikely to be found.
In recent decades,
much progress has been made. On a worldwide level, women's
access to education and proper health care has increased;
their participation in the paid labor force has grown; and
legislation that promises equal opportunities for women and
respect for their human rights has been adopted in many countries.
The world now has an ever- growing number of women participating
in society as policy-makers.
in the world can women claim to have all the same rights and
opportunities as men.
of the world's 1.3 billion absolute poor are women.
women receive between 30 and 40 per cent less pay than men
earn for the same work.
women continue to be victims of violence, with rape and domestic
violence listed as significant causes of disability and death
among women of reproductive age worldwide.