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International Women's Day 2009: “Women and men united to end violence against women and girls”
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“Women and men united to end violence against women and girls”

Calendar of events: UN observances worldwide

CSW 53rd sessionThe fifty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women takes place at United Nations headquarters in New York from 2 to 13 March 2009.
Calendar of parallel events organized by Permanent Missions and UN Agencies >>
Calendar of parallel events organized by NGOs >>

UN LogoUnited Nations Headquarters New York

“Men and Women United to End Violence against Women and Girls”
5 March 2009, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon
United Nations Headquarters, Conference Room 2


H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations
H.E. Mrs. Aja Isatou Njie Saidy, Vice President and Secretary of State for Women’s Affairs of the Republic of the Gambia
H.E. Ms. Maria del Rocio Garcia Gaytan, President of the National Women’s Institute of Mexico
H.E. Ms. Tanya Plibersek, Minister for the Status of Women of Australia


Violence against Women and Girls in the Context of Armed Conflict
Ms. Radhika Coomarswamy, United Nations Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict

Violence against Women: the Scope and Dimensions of a Global Challenge
Ms. Yakin Ertürk, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women

Violence against Women in the Work Place
Mr. William Lucy, International Secretary-Treasurer of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)

Ending Violence against Women and Girls: Using the Law to Create Change
Ms. Imrana Jalal, Human Rights Lawyer and Advisor at the Pacific Regional Rights Resource Team

Ms. Pamela Falk, CBS News

Download the event flyer >>

View the webcast of the event: http://www.un.org/webcast/

United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women

Launch of the UN Secretary-General's database on violence against women

5 March 2009, 1:15 – 2:45 p.m.
United Nations Headquarters, Conference Room 2

Official launch:
Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro,
United Nations Deputy Secretary-General

Ms. Carolyn Hannan,
Director, Division for the Advancement of Women
Senator Pia Cayetano, Philippines
Ms. Cheryl Thomas, Director, Women’s Human Rights Program, The Advocates for Human Rights
Ms. Dubravka Šimonović, Member, Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
Representative of a UN entity (tbc)

His Excellency Frank Majoor,
Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the United Nations

Download the event flyer >>

Office of the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI)

Panel discussion
Workplace Flexibility and Productivity: Strategic Business Models across Industry and Organizations
5 March 2009, 1:15 - 2:45 pm
United Nations Headquarters, Conference Room 3

Cali Williams Yost, CEO, Work+Life Fit, Inc.
Deborah Epstein Henry, Founder & President Flex-Time Lawyers LLC
Brad Harrington, Executive Director Boston College's Centre for Work and Family
Barbara A. Taylor, General Counsel BDO Seidman LLP


Aparna Mehrotra, Focal Point for Women, United Nations

Download the event flyer >>

Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANWGE)

An awareness-raising play
developed and performed by the theater ensemble Tiyatroglobal and inspired by the United Nations Secretary-General’s call to Unite to End Violence against Women

and panel discussion
“Eliminate violence against women through the arts and the media”

5 March 2009, 6.30 pm
Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium,
Doors open at 6:00 pm

Carolyn Hannan, Director, Division for the Advancement of Women

Margaret A. Novicki, Chief, Communications Campaigns Service, Strategic Communications Division, UN Department of Public Information


Paul L. King, Executive Director; Director of Theater Programs, Office of the Arts and Special Projects, New York City Department of Education
Julie Crosby, Producing Artistic Director, Women's Project
Helen E. Richardson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Theater, Artistic Director, Tiyatroglobal
Tom Sellar, editor of Theater magazine, Yale School of Drama and Duke University Press, and assistant professor (adjunct) of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism at the Yale School of Drama
Emilya Cachapero, Director of Artistic Programs/ International Theatre Institute-US, Theatre Communications Group
Liliana Hendel, Psychologist and Feminist Journalist, Argentina

Download the event flyer >>

illustrationUN News Centre photo story:
International Women's Day 2009 >>

ILO LogoInternational Labour Organization (ILO)

ILO to launch a new report on global employment trends for women: Hold Women's Day event on impact of financial crisis on work and family
The International Labour Office (ILO) will mark International Women’s Day 2009 with the launch on Thursday, 5 March, of a new report assessing the impact of the global financial crisis on women in the world of work.

In addition, the ILO will also hold a panel discussion on Friday, 6 March, on the impact of the crisis on the sharing of work and household responsibilities between women and men.

Global report

illustration The report entitled Global Employment Trends for Women 2009 will provide an update on the projected impact of the economic crisis from a gender perspective based on the latest data on both male and female labour force participation, unemployment, and vulnerable employment at the global and regional levels.

The report will be launched at a press conference in Geneva at the Palais des Nations, Room III, Thursday 5 March at 1.30 p.m. Speakers include ILO Employment Sector Executive Director, José M. Salazar-Xirinachs, the ILO Bureau for Gender Equality Director Jane Hodges and ILO Employment Trends Unit economist and report co-author Theo Sparreboom.

Panel discussion

The ILO will host a tripartite panel discussion on the theme Work and family: The way to care is to share!. The panel will discuss the impact of the global economic crisis on work and households, as well as good practices by countries, and workers’ and employers’ organizations in addressing the equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men.

Work and family is also the March theme of the Gender Equality at the heart of Decent Work campaign (http://www.ilo.org/gender/Events/Campaign2008-2009/lang--en/index.htm), a twelve-month campaign launched in June 2008 to increase general awareness and understanding of gender equality issues in the world of work.

Special guests include:

Ms Bibata Niandou Barry (Minister of Women’s Promotion and Child Protection – and recipient of the MDG3 Torch, Niger);
Mr. David Loughman (Managing Director of A/S Norske Shell, Norway);
Ms Francisca Jiménez (Vice-chair of the Women’s Committee of the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA), Dominican Republic).

The panel discussion will be held Friday, 6 March - 10.00 a.m., at the ILO headquarters, in Geneva, 4 route des Morillons, in the Governing Body Room, Level R3 South. Simultaneous English, French, Spanish interpretation will be provided.

For further details on ILO's activities on International women's day 2009 please visit: http://www.ilo.org/gender/Events/lang--en/WCMS_101670 or contact Iselin Danbolt at danbolt@ilo.org or +4122/799-6281, interviews can be scheduled with the special guests before or after the event.

IFAD FAO LogosInternational Telecommunication Union (ITU)

ITU Celebrates IWD with Lunchtime Jazz:
Monday, 9 March 2009 from 12:00-1:00 pm
Montbrillant cafeteria, ITU Headquarters in Geneva

ITU Activities:

  • ITU is taking the lead in promoting the use of ICTs to combat violence and abuse perpetrated against girls and women
  • ITU and gender issues: ITU's goal is to narrow the digital divide between women and men and our initiatives aim to narrow the gendered digital divide.
  • ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA): ITU's framework for international cooperation aimed at enhancing confidence and security in the information society. GCA can be the instrument for using ICTs to combat violence and abuse perpetrated against girls and women.
  • ITU Child Online Protection (COP) Initiative: Aims at identifying risks and vulnerabilities of girls.

The Role of ICTs in reducing violence against girls and women:
Statement of ITU Secretary General, Mr. Hamadoun Touré

ITU website for International Women's Day 2009 >>

UN LogoUnited Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)

IWD Events Sponsored by UNIFEM and National Committees for UNIFEM:

5 March, China
Investing in Women and Girlsn
Co-sponsored by: UN Theme Group on Gender, All China Women's Federation

6 March, Singapore
Women Mean Business: Celebrating International Women's Day 2009
Co-sponsored by: The Singapore National Committee for UNIFEM and the Australian High Commission

11 March, Singapore
Why Women Mean Business: The Emergence of Our Next Economic Revolution Seminar

More information >>

UN LogoUnited Nations Development Group (UNDG)

UN in The Gambia Joins the Government to Celebrate Women Through Art and Film
The UN System in The Gambia organised a week-long Photo and Art Exhibition and Film Show at the UN House as a contribution to the national activities to commemorate the International Women’s Day 2009. The Exhibition attracted massive participation and support from, among others, Senior Government Officials and Development Partners, civil society organizations, law enforcement institutions and schools.

More information >>

UNDP LogoUnited Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

March 8 was International Women's Day, an opportunity to remind the world of women's economic, political and social achievements. Find out more about UNDP's work in gender equality and women's empowerment.

Video: Female entrepreneurs in Turkmenistan

Photo gallery:

UNDP staff about the challenges that women face in the following areas: Stories:

UN Theme Group on Gender jointly with the UN Communications Group in Mongolia has undertaken series of events, public awareness initiatives and campaign to commemorate the International Women's Day:

  • Mobilized different groups of the society: women, men and youth: As part of the global campaign launched by the UNSG, this year on International Women’s Day, the “Men and women to join hands to end violence against women” campaign is being jointly organized by the UN Country Team in Mongolia, Mongolian Men’s Association and MONFEMNET (Mongolian Women's NGO Network) and UN Youth Advisory Panel between March 5-18, 2009. The campaign encourages men and women to combine their efforts to end violations of women’s rights and to work together to create a more equal and peaceful society;
  • Customized to local context a theme of the global campaign: In the framework of this campaign, Mongolian Men’s Association and MONFEMNET in cooperation with the UN Youth Advisory Panel calls on men to work hand in hand with women to eliminate violence against women under the theme "Let’s create a more harmonious life together".
  • Delivered key statements of the UNSG message: A press conference with the participation of the UNRC, national counterparts and a range of media representatives was organized to present key statements of the UNSG message on International Women’s Day and to commence the national campaign;
  • Increased public awareness on CEDAW recommendations particularly related to gender-based violence: series of articles with the key message and CEDAW recommendations were published In main daily newspapers;
  • Increased general public awareness on gender-based violence and ways to address it: TV talk show with participation of CSOs, academia and students was organized to have different perspectives and views on this problem and ways to overcome it; an exhibition of art works by women followed by a discussion on perceptions by attendees; posting of the billboards at the central square;

UN LogoUnited Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)

"Gender Implications of the Economic Crisis in Asia-Pacific"
8 March 2009

In celebration of International Women’s Day, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, together with other entities of the United Nations system in Thailand, has organized an event to take place on Monday, 9 March 2009 at the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC). Economic downturns and volatility hit the world’s poorest most severely and disproportionately impact women. Yet women and girls play an increasingly critical role in economic growth, and their well-being is essential to poverty eradication. This year’s special regional theme is “Gender Implications of the Economic Crisis”, which will bring to light how women are being affected by the current crisis as well as address the ways in which women and girls – and investment in opportunities for them – factor into effective short- and long-term responses.

The Regional Coordination Mechanism Thematic Working Group on Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women will present a half-day event to include keynote presentations on the gender dimensions of the economic crisis followed by a dialogue with practitioners on the diverse impacts of the crisis on women and required responses. The dialogue will be followed by short films and an inter-agency exhibition.

Statement by Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP >>

More Information >>

ILO LogoUnited Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Every year in March, UNESCO celebrates International Women’s Day (March 8) by hosting a flagship programme, consisting of round-tables, conferences, exhibitions and cultural events that highlight issues relating to the empowerment of women and the promotion of gender equality.

Message from the Director-General of UNESCO Mr Koïchiro Matsuura >>
UNESCO Celebrates International Women's Day 2009 >>

illustrationInternational Round Table
This year’s theme is “Gender Equality as a Global Priority: Next Steps Forward”. The discussion will focus on the role UNESCO can assume in implementing this priority, and identify the future challenges. Director General will open the Round Table that will bring together several women Ambassadors, Permanent Delegates from UNESCO’s Member States and a high-level guest speaker for the keynote address.
9 March 2009, Room II, 3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. By invitation only.
More information >>

Concert organized in collaboration with the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie
9 March 2009, Room I, 8:00 p.m.
Free tickets and more information >>

illustrationNô Theatre Dance Performance and Demonstration of Japanese Flower Arranging
Organized in collaboration with the Comité de la Journée Franco-Japonaise de la Femme-JFJF and the Permanent Delegation of Japan to UNESCO
10 March 2009, Foyer Salle 1, 12:30 p.m. - 1 p.m.
More information >>

illustrationMisuzu Kaneko’s Poetry Reading
Poetry reading organized in collaboration with the Comité de la Journée Franco-Japonaise de la Femme-JFJF and the Permanent Delegation of Japan to UNESCO
10 March 2009, Foyer Salle 1, 5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.
More information >>

illustration Seminars - Being a Woman in Japan: Facing Challenges
Seminars organized in collaboration with the Comité de la Journée Franco-Japonaise de la Femme-JFJF and the Permanent Delegation of Japan to UNESCO
10 March 2009, Room IV, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.
More information >>

illustration The Seeds of a Dream
Art exhibition paying homage to Dolores Cacuango; organized in collaboration with the Permanent Delegation of Ecuador to UNESCO
10 – 25 March 2009, Salle des pas perdus
More information >>

illustrationNO MAS !
Exhibition of paintings by Yolanda Naranjo
10 – 25 March 2009, Hall Ségur II
More information >>

illustration ICHI GO ICHI E– Women of Japan
Brief encounters on the social scene and backstage
Slide-show of photographs by Manuel Henry
10 – 25 March 2009, Salle des Actes
More information >>

illustration Figure Paintings
Exhibition of paintings by Dr Annie Wong Leung Kit-Wah
10 – 25 March 2009, Room Miró 3
More information >>

illustration Creative Nature
Exhibition of paintings by Carolina Alfonso de la Paz
10 – 25 March 2009, Salle des pas perdus
More information >>

illustration Celebrating Women
Photographic exhibition by Paola Gianturco
10 – 25 March 2009, Rooms Miró I and II
More information >>

illustration Pretty, Pretty Shoes, Dogs and Others
Exhibition of paintings by Xenia Hoffmeisterová
10 – 25 March 2009, Hall Ségur 1
More information >>

UN LogoUnited Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR)

On the occasion of the International Women's Day UNISDR is launching a short PSA advocacy video on the role of women during disasters:

Empowering Women against Disasters, UNISDR 2009

UNISDR website >>

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