International Women's Day
8 March 1989 

Press Release SG/SM/4268


Following is the text of a message from Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar on the occasion of International Women's Day (March 8):

As we celebrate International Women's Day this year, let us take stock of the progress that has been made in the struggle for equal rights for women and in promoting women's full participation in the development process. And let us not forget the important role that women are playing in the search for peace throughout the world.

We can be proud of the achievements in many parts of the world to overcome obstacles to women's advancement. In a large number of countries, the concerns of women are now more openly debated in the public media. Next attention is being given to women's health and educational needs. Support services to help working men and women in child care are being developed and better funded. Literacy for girls has continued to improve incrementally and the number of women in policy-making positions has grown.

Elsewhere, however, the gender issues confronting societies continue to focus on changing fundamental attitudes towards women in the home and in the work place. Violence against women is still a major concern in many countries. Equal treatment for women workers in wages and working conditions often remain nothing more than a hope. Moreover, the perceptions of economic and social development are not yet conducive in all societies to providing women, particularly those who are poor or destitute, with the necessary means for increasingly claiming, achieving and enjoying equality of opportunity.

Much therefore still remains to be done. Let us today redouble our efforts to ensure that over half of the world's population, its women, will have the opportunity to play their multiple roles in society on a more equal recognition that development can only be truly effective it empowers women and counts them among its most important resources.

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