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International Women's Day 2008: Investing in Women and Girls

"At the 2005 World Summit, Governments of all nations agreed that “progress for women is progress for all”. Yet the 10-year review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action revealed a serious gap between policy and practice in many countries. A lack of political will is reflected in the most telling way of all: lack of resources and insufficient budgetary allocations. That is why the theme of this International Women’s Day is “Investing in Women and Girls".

Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon


The United Nations and Gender Equality

The Charter of the United Nations, signed in 1945, was the first international agreement to affirm the principle of equality between women and men. Since then, the UN has helped create a historic legacy of internationally-agreed strategies, standards, programmes and goals to advance the status of women worldwide.

Over the years, the UN and its technical agencies have promoted the participation of women as equal partners with men in achieving sustainable development, peace, security, and full respect for human rights. The empowerment of women continues to be a central feature of the UN's efforts to address social, economic and political challenges across the globe.

For information about recent themes and commemorations by the United Nations of International Women's Day, please visit: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/feature/iwd.