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Around the world
International Women’s Day celebrations organized by the United Nations


International Women’s Day was widely observed by government, civil society and UN agencies in Afghanistan. UNAMA coordinated and assisted organizers to adopt the official theme of “Investing in women and Girls”, by providing press release, speech and posters throughout the country. UNAMA held a press briefing several days in advance of the Day to raise media awareness and distribute a calendar of all major events around the country.


On 10 March, UN Country Team with United Nations Information Centre Buenos Aires will host an International Women’s Day high-level panel discussion featuring Minister for Foreign Affairs Jorge Taiana, Supreme Court Member Justice Elena Highton de Nolasco, and Vice President of the House of Representatives Patricia Vaca Narvaja


On 7 March, UN International School in Vienna will support an International Women’s Day discussion event. The event has been organized by the Austrian United Nations Association, the Centre for Legal Studies, the Vienna International Centre Women's Group and the Academic Forum for Foreign Policy and will be held at the Austrian National Bank in Vienna.

UNIS VIENNA: International Women's Day (IWD) was marked widely in Austria and other countries served by the UNIS.  UNIS Director was the keynote speaker at a seminar “International Women's Rights" jointly organized by the Austrian UN Association, the Centre for Legal Studies, the VIC Women's Group, and the Academic Forum for Foreign Policy on 7 March 2008 at the Austrian National Bank. Two main themes of trafficking and migration, with a special focus on women were covered by the speakers. Topics covered were the recently concluded Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking Forum, the impact of trafficking on women, and the poor track record in bringing perpetrators to justice. Around 150 persons attended the event and UNIS Vienna distributed the Secretary-General's message in German, as well as additional background material on the Secretary-General’s Campaign to end violence against women and International Women's Day.

UNIS Vienna distributed various information material (including the Secretary-General’s message) at a multicultural event titled 'Women Celebrating without Borders' at the Austrian parliament on 7 March. Many Austria-based women's organizations showcased their activities, including handicrafts and cultural aspects from many different countries.  The event ended with an international buffet and live music and saw an audience of 300 persons.


On 8 March, an International Women’s Day press conference and seminar “Investing on Women and Girls” will be held in the UN House, Manama.  The event has been organized by the UN Information Centre Manama with UN Country Team, Labour Fund, Chamber of Commerce and Bahrain Business Women Society.


To mark International Women's Day various events were organized in Bangladesh. The UN in Bangladesh participated in a week long Women's Day Fair where huge number of people from all walks of life visited the UN stall. Advocacy and information materials published by UN agencies were distributed among the visitors.
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Burkina Faso

On 8 March, there will be an exhibit and a television programme on the occasion of International Women’s Day.


On 8 March, International Women's Day in Burundi will be observed through a rally, speeches and cultural shows in the Bubanza province. These activities will be coordinated by the UN Information Centre, the Ministry of Human Rights and Gender, United Nations Integrated Office in Burundi (BINUB), UNIFEM, UNFPA and non-government organizations, under the patronage of the Head of State. With BINUB's support, UN Information Centre Bujumbura will deliver International Women’s Day posters, T-shirts, press kit, banners, radio/TV public service announcements, messages/slogans in Kirundi and French, and media briefings.


Hundreds of young people across Cambodia embarked on a text messaging campaign using their mobile phones to celebrate International Women's Day, the first time a campaign of this kind has been attempted in Cambodia. Aiming to raise awareness of the role of women in development, youth delegates from the UN Youth Advisory Panel developed this SMS (short message system) text message specifically designed for young people, as part of the UN gender advocacy campaign: Strong Women, Strong Country.

Youth in provinces across the country spread the text message to their friends, family members and classmates requesting that the message be forwarded on to as many men and women as possible. The text message read: Happy Women's Day! Women are important partners in making the country strong. We support women with love, respect and encouragement. Strong Women, Strong Country. Let's send this SMS to everyone. Besides the UN Youth Advisory Panel, a host of other youth organizations, including UN Volunteers participated in the campaign. The United Nations in Cambodia will be monitoring the scale of the campaign and how widely the message was distributed.


On 4 March, UN Information Centre Bogota and UNIFEM will organize a press conference on the situation of women in the Colombian conflict.

Czech Republic:

UN Information Centre staff will introduce a movie on Liberia, and present the Secretary-General’s campaign on violence against women during an International Women’s Day panel on gender. This will be held prior to the screening of a documentary film on rapes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Both initiatives will be held in Prague between 5-13 March.


International Women’s Day will be observed on 10 March.     


On 7 March, UN Information Centre New Delhi with the All India Women's Conference will host an International Women’s Day seminar “Investing in Women and Girls” with Chief Guest Mr. Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India. On 8 March, UN Information Centre Director will read out the Secretary-General’s International Women’s Day message at several events, and an official observance will be organized by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India.


On 10 March, UN Information Centre with other UN offices in Japan will organize an International Women’s Day symposium at the UN House in Tokyo.


On 6 March, UN Information Centre Lima will host an International Women’s Day media launch of a press contest named “Investing in Women is investing in Development”. The contest consisted of four categories: press, TV, radio and photo reports.


In its weekly page dedicated to worldwide UN news, jointly compiled with UNIC/UNIS-Beirut, the Lebanese daily Al-Balad devoted on Sunday 9 March a full page to the International Women’s Day. The page focused on the need to provide sufficient resources for women’s empowerment programs and projects to improve their social and economic status. Al Balad columnist Ghiwa Ibrahim highlighted the situation of Arab women headlining her article: Our Half Almost Illiterate.
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UNIC Kathmandu drafted a joint UN statement for International Women’s Day and invited 300 guests consisting of government officials, NGOs and UN staffs for the observance on 5 March. The Chief Guest was the Finance Minister of Nepal Dr. Ram Saran Mahat. UN Resident Coordinator a.i Ms. Junko Sazaki and two grassroots level beneficiaries also spoke at the event. The Master of ceremony was the National Information Officer of UNIC Ram Babu Shah. A video, prepared jointly by UNFPA and UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), depicting the challenges that Nepali women face was screened. The WFP Representative in Nepal Mr. Richard Ragan presented a cheque of US $ 5000 to the first all Nepal inclusive women mountaineering expedition team to Mount Everest. The two grassroots level beneficiaries were also honoured for their contribution to their communities through micro credit programmes. On the occasion UNIC coordinated a joint UN System information stall in which various agencies displayed their publications, posters and reports on women. On March 8 UNIC disseminated the joint UN statement to the media.


On 6 March, UN Information Centre Lima will host an International Women’s Day media launch of a press contest named “Investing in Women is investing in Development”. The contest consisted of four categories: press, TV, radio and photo reports.

Republic of Congo:

On 10 March, UN Information Centre and UNFPA will host an International Women’s Day joint briefing on “Investing in women and girls” for a group of 70 university students from Institut de Management  de Brazzaville.


Between 5 -20 March, UN Information Centre Bucharest will sponsor an International Women’s Day photo exhibition at the UN House in Bucharest.

Russian Federation

On 5 March, UNIC Moscow jointly with the Resident Coordinator’s Office held a special event dedicated to the International Women’s Day. The event focused on the importance of gender equality as an essential factor for the achievement of UN priorities and the Secretary-General’s Campaign on ending violence against women, with emphasis on gender violence in the Russian Federation. UN agencies in Moscow participated in the event along with officials from the Russian Ministry of Health who highlighted the government’s perspective on gender issues. The event also saw the opening of an exhibition by Kazakh artist Darja Kairambaeva whose work underlined gender issues within society.

South Africa

On 6 March, UN Information Centre and UN Country Team will organize an International Women’s Day panel discussion with experts on “Investing in Women and Girls” in the UN Information Centre Library in Pretoria.

Sri Lanka

On 7 March, an International Women’s Day observance will be organized by the UN Country Team, the Gender Working Group and UN Information Centre Colombo at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo.


On 8 March, UN Communications Group, including UN Information Centre Dar es Salaam, and the UN Clubs Tanzania Network will host a students' International Women’s Day gender conference on the need to invest in girls by educating them. The conference will be held at the Apeadu Conference Hall, UN Compound in Dar es Salaam.


On 7 March, UN International School will support the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)-UNIFEM’s International Women’s Day observance, which will include a panel discussion on “investing in women and girls”, an exhibition on UN agencies' work on women's issues and a film screening in Bangkok.


On 4 March, UN Information Office and UNDP Ukraine, in partnership with the Human Rights Committee of the Parliament of Ukraine will host an International Women’s Day press breakfast in Kyiv with the theme "Investing to Women and Girls: Ukrainian Reality".

United States

On 6 March, UN Information Centre Washington, the UN Foundation and the Women’s Foreign Policy Group hosted an International Women’s Day luncheon featuring Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Department of Public Information’s Under Secretary-General Kiyotaka Akasaka at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington. The event was attended by 200 guests.

Rep. Lee addressed the need to invest in women and girls, an investment she is poised to help deliver as a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees US foreign assistance. In his remarks UN Under Secretary General of the Department of Public Information Kiyotaka Akasaka highlighted the UN Secretary-General's recently launched campaign to end violence against women, and pointed to the challenges and opportunities both UN and Member States face in helping women through the Millennium Development Goals, peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance.


On 8 March, UN Information Centre Lusaka with the Ministry of Gender, non-government organizations and civil society groups will organize an International Women’s Day observance event.