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Equal rights - Equal opportunities - Progress for all
International Women's Day 2010: Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all
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International Women's Day, 8 March 2010

"Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all"

Video Message from Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

The United Nations is not responsible for comments or video responses posted on YouTube.

Secretary-General’s Written Message in:
عربي  |   中文  |   English  |   Français  |   Русский  |   Español

Calendar of events: UN observances worldwide

CSW 54 - 15-year review of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995) and the outcomes of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly (2000)The fifty-fourth session of the Commission on the Status of Women takes place at United Nations headquarters in New York from 1 to 12 March 2010.
> High-level roundtables and Interactive events
> Parallel events
> Webcast

UN LogoUnited Nations Headquarters New York


President of the UN General Assembly
» Message from Dr. Ali Abdussalam Treki, President of the UN General Assembly

» Message from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

“Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All”
3 March 2010, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon
United Nations Headquarters, Conference Room 1

Panel Discussion on
Beijing at 15: The Unfinished Agenda

Opening Segment: 10 am – 10:45 am

H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations
H.E. Ms. Meng Xiaosi, Minister and Vice-Chairperson of the National Committee on Women and Children, People’s Republic of China
H. E. Mr. Audon Lysbakken, Minister for Gender Equality and Children’s Affairs, Norway

Interactive Panel: 11 am – 12 pm

Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations
Ms. Gertrude Mongella, Secretary-General, Fourth World Conference on Women
Dr. Patricia Licuanan, Former Chair of CSW/ Chair Asia Pacific NGO Forum
Ms. Tarcila Zea, Foro Intercontinental de Mujeres Indígenas
Ms. Amy Tang, “Because I am a Girl” Initiative, Plan

Moderator: Maria Hinojosa, Senior correspondent PBS/ Host National Public Radio

Event organized by the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women (OSAGI), the Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANWGE) and the Department of Public Information (DPI).

» Download the event flyer

Webcast: archived video Webcast archived video [ Original language | English ]

Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI)

On the occasion of International Women’s Day Ms. Rachel Mayanja Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women Invites you to a panel discussion on
"The Representation of Women:  A FIFTEEN year Retrospect and Hopes for the Future"

Wednesday, 3 March 2010
1:15 - 2:45 pm
Conference Room 1
United Nations Headquarters New York

>> Download the event flyer

>> Biographies of Panelists

FAO LogoFood and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

International Women’s Day: FAO, WFP and IFAD honour Haitian women

Rome-based UN agencies FAO, World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) marked International Women’s Day by pledging to help women affected by the Haiti earthquake make the challenging transition from emergency recovery to long-term resilience.

In keeping with the UN theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, “Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all,” the event at WFP headquarters was held in memory of three prominent women’s rights activists who lost their lives during the earthquake - Anne Marie Coriolan, Myriam Merlet and Magalie Marcelin.

» FAO gender news

IAEA LogoInternational Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

International Women's Day 2010: Women Changing the Face of Nuclear Industry

Unrestricted by gender stereotypes that ruled the nuclear industry in the past, women today are working as nuclear engineers, project managers, inspectors, chemists, physicists, environmentalists and management members. This is evident at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), says resident Gender Concerns specialist Kaisa Clark, "There have been significant increases in the past ten years of the number of professional women employed at the IAEA, particularly in the nuclear safeguards, nuclear energy, nuclear applications and technical cooperation departments."

» Read more

IFAD LogoInternational Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Rome-based United Nations agencies call for action to support rural women in Haiti

At the occasion of International Women's Day on 8 March 2010, the Rome-based United Nations agencies - the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the International Fund For Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) – organized a joint event honouring the resilience of women in Haiti.

Participants noted that rural women and farmers had not received enough attention in the wake of the devastating earthquake of 12 January 2010. Rural women were also affected by the destruction of their homes and farming equipments, non functioning of local markets and displacement of population from urban to rural areas. Participants launched an urgent call for action to the international community to support rural women in Haiti in particular women farmers at the beginning of the spring planting season.

» IFAD newsroom
» IFAD social reporting blog

ILO LogoInternational Labour Organization (ILO)

» Message by Juan Somavia Director-General of the International Labour Office on the occasion of International Women’s Day

What’s working for working women!

The International Labour Office cordially invites you to a celebration of International Women’s Day, which will be held on Monday, 8 March 2010 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Room 2, ILO building, 4 route des Morillons, Geneva.

15 years have passed since the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing decided on a global platform for action on gender equality and women’s empowerment. ILO’s message to the Beijing Conference was «All Women are Working Women». And 8 March 2010 gives us the opportunity to share experiences on what successes have occurred since then. The distinguished panel brought together for this year’s celebration will share success stories, and highlight some remaining challenges, towards achieving true gender equality in the world of work.

On the panel will be representatives of both employers and workers organizations, as well as government representatives, from diverse countries and backgrounds.

The event will be chaired by Her Excellency Maria Nazareth Farani Azevêdo, Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of Brazil to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations at Geneva, Chairperson of the ILO Governing Body.

>> Download the event flyer (English, French, Spanish)
>> Biographies of Panelists

illustration ILO International Women's Day Poster 2010
What’s working for working women!

» Download in English, French, Spanish

For further details on ILO's activities on International women's day 2010 please visit: http://www.ilo.org/gender/Events/lang--en/docName--WCMS_122450/index.htm

New ILO report:
"Women in labour markets: Measuring progress and identifying challenges"
More women choosing to work, but gender equality remains a long way off

ILO Asia and the Pacific:
International Women's Day: A dozen countries in Asia-Pacific say 'yes' in principle to international labour standard for domestic workers - global discussion at ILC in June

International Training Centre (ITC-ILO):
Let’s celebrate International Women’s Day by supporting domestic workers

UNAIDSJoint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)

» Statement by UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé
   on International Women’s Day
(English | Español | Français | Русский |

On International Women’s Day, UNAIDS, IAS and 14 partners launch new agenda to improve scientific research for women and children

As the world marks International Women’s Day, there is growing concern that women and children are bearing the brunt of the AIDS epidemic. To turn the tide, UNAIDS, the International AIDS Society (IAS) and 14 other leading public and private sector organizations have teamed up to release a new scientific research agenda.

The report called, “Asking the Right Questions: Advancing an HIV Research Agenda for Women and Children” includes 20 specific recommendations to expand and improve responses to the HIV-related challenges facing women and children worldwide.

» UNAIDS feature story

OHCHR LogoOffice of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

View the High Commissioner's statement:

» Transcript in Word

» Written statement

On 8 March, the world marks International Women's Day. This year's theme is «Equal Rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all », which complements the OHCHR's special focus in 2010 on non-discrimination. Haiti lost three of its most renowned women’s rights leaders to the earthquake. Anne Marie Coriolan, Magalie Marcelin and Myriam Merlet will remain an inspiration for survivors.

International Women’s Day: an Outlook on Haiti
Over 1.3 million people live in makeshift shelters on the once buzzing streets of Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince and its environs. Those who survived the 12 January earthquake are now faced with the daunting task of rebuilding their lives out of the ruins of a city already stricken by poverty. For Haitian women, this is proving even more difficult because of their additional family responsibilities.
» Read more

UNHCROffice of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):

International Women's Day: UNHCR chief stresses need for equality

As UNHCR offices around the world marked International Women's Day on Monday, High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said it was vital that all people of concern to the agency, male and female, are given equal opportunities and are able to realize their individual rights on an equal basis.

Guterres, in a special message to staff, added that this year's theme, Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All, was "a principle UNHCR has already committed to implementing through, for example, its strategy for Age, Gender and Diversity Mainstreaming."

» Read more

UNICEFUnited Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

» Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman on International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day: Special podcast on education and gender equality

This year, International Women’s Day is focusing on the theme: “Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all.” Though significant progress has been made towards gender parity and equality in education, many challenges remain.

According to latest UNICEF estimates, girls make up more than half of the 101 million children of primary school age that are not in school.

To look at the advances made and challenges ahead for girls’ education, moderator Amy Costello spoke to Tamara Kreinin, executive director of Women and Population at the United Nations Foundation, and the Honourable Ambassador Professor Samson Kagengo Ongeri, Kenya’s Minister of Education and UNICEF Champion for Child-Friendly Schools.

» Listen to the podcast

UNIFEM LogoUnited Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)

» Message from UNIFEM Executive Director Inés Alberdi
   (English | Español | Français)

IWD Events Sponsored by UNIFEM and National Committees for UNIFEM:

3–11 March 2010
Various locations in South Asia
International Women’s Day events in South Asia

3–15 March 2010
Varios lugares en Colombia
Calendario de Actividades para la Conmemoración del Día Internacional de la Mujer en Colombia

4 March 2010, 08:30–10:30
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 106, Washington, DC
Second Annual International Women’s Day Breakfast Briefing – Lessons from the Frontlines: Afghanistan, Haiti and the Path to a More Secure World (flyer)

5 March 2010
UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre, Bratislava, Slovakia
Responding to Challenges of Women’s Political Participation in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States Region

5–8 March 2010
Kino Frosina, Skopje, FYR Macedonia
“Women’s Rights Nights” Film Festival

7–10 March 2010
Sudan, South Darfur, Nyala
International Women’s Day Events in Sudan

8 March 2010, 08:00–15:00
Hutzena Sports Oval, Buka, Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea
Gender Equality and Political Governance in Bougainville

8 March 2010, 08:00–13:00
Hilton Hotel, Hanoi, Viet Nam
Beijing + 15: Looking Back, Looking Forward

8 March 2010, 12:00–15:00
Friendship Hall, Sudan
International Women’s Day

8 March 2010, 14:00–17:00
ILO Auditorium, 19th F, Yuchengco Tower, RCBC Plaza, Makati City, Philippines
Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities, Progress for All

8 March 2010, 18:30–21:00
International Press Centre, Brussels, Belgium
Screening of the Film “Africa Rising” and Debate

8–10 March 2010
Bosnia and Herzegovina
IWD TV and Radio Events in Bosnia and Herzegovina

8–16 March 2010
National Centre for Women Development, Nigeria
Nigerian Women: Achievement, Challenges and Prospects

8 March–3 September 2010
Pacific Island countries
Essay and Photo Contest: Promoting Gender Equality and Women’s Human Rights — From National Commitments to Real Change

10 March 2010
Palestine Media Center, Al Bireh/Ramallah (close to the Brazilian Consulate), 3rd Floor, occupied Palestinian territory
Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress For All

10 March 2010, 11:00–16:00
Shariqa Hall, Khartoum, Sudan
International Women’s Day Events

12 March 2010, 10:30–11:30
Government Building, Hall P-38, Prishtina, Kosovo
Gender and Security: A Mapping of Security Sector Actors in Kosovo and Gender-Related Policies, Practices and Strategies (Baseline Study Launch)

16 March 2010, 20:00–22:00
Khartoum, Sudan
Public Lecture: Current and Future Perspectives of Social, Economic and Political Development of Sudanese Women in the Context of Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement

» UNIFEM webpage for International Women's Day 2010

UNDP Logo   United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

  Statement on International Women's Day by Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator

Right now, the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women is gathering in New York to review progress towards gender equality since the groundbreaking Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. That landmark conference recognized the barriers women face in achieving full equality, and an internationally agreed plan to address the problem, titled the Beijing Platform for Action, was adopted.

In the fifteen years since 1995, despite genuine progress on many fronts, overall advancement toward gender equality and women's empowerment has been uneven and slow...

» Read the full statement in English | Español | Français

» Women's Political Participation Needs to Increase, New Publication Says.
"Enhancing Women’s Political Participation. A Policy Note for Europe & CIS"

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

» Message from Irina Bokova Director-General of UNESCO
   on the occasion of International Women’s Day

   (English | Français)

UNESCO Celebrates International Women's Day 2010:

The Division for Gender Equality of the Bureau of Strategic Planning is organizing a series of events, in collaboration with a diverse range of partners, that will take place at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris from 8 to 19 March 2010 to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Round Table on “Women and Science” : Challenges to Be
8 March 2010, 10 am - 1 pm, Room XI
This Round Table is organised by the Permanent Delegation of the Kingdom of Spain to UNESCO, the Delegation of the European Union to OECD and UNESCO in collaboration with the Division for Gender Equality in UNESCO.
Upon invitation only. Limited places available.

High Level Round Table on "Beijing + 15"
8 March 2010, 3 to 5 pm, Room II
Organized by the Division for Gender Equality
Upon invitation only. Limited places available.

illustrationExhibition : Womanhood – Recto-verso, Ingrid Leddet, France (8-19 March 2010, Hall Segur)
“Women's lives – Recto-Verso” illustrates the fate of women around the world through a big triptych featuring on one side three female busts which represent the visible face of a woman's life, and on the other side, three female busts which suggest the reality.

illustration Exhibition : « Art Kassena : femmes artistes de Tiébélé », Ms. Kaïdin-Monique le Houelleur, Burkina Faso (8-19 March 2010, Salle des Pas perdus)
In 1996, while traveling from Abidjan to Timbuktu, in pursuit of the publication of a book, Kaïdin-Monique le Houelleur discovers the artstyle Kassena in Burkina Faso and the women artists of this region.

illustration Exhibition : « Colors and light », Ms. Watana Noonpackdee Butori, Thailand (8-19 March 2010, Miro I and II)
Born in Thailand in 1945, Watana Noonpackdee Butori has lived in France since 1970.
Graduated from the Chulalongkorn university (Bangkok) in Literacy and from the Université de Nancy (France) in Contemporary history, she worked as a free lance interpret and translator for many years and has written the Assimil language method to learn Thai in 1990.

illustration Exhibition : « Living Ancestors », Ms. Gabrielle Leroux, Dominica (8-19 March 2010, Hall Segur)
Artist and activist for social justice, Gabrielle Le Roux was born in London and raised in South Africa. She lived in the Caribbean during the 1980s.

illustration Exhibition : “Real Beauty”, Claudia DeMonte, USA (8-19 March 2010, Hall Segur)
The art installation “Real Beauty” represents the culmination of 30 years of making art on issues related to women in contemporary society by the American artist, curator and gender equality activist Claudia DeMonte.

illustration Exhibition : “Woman: Sustainability and Peace", Ms. Savitri Suwansathit, Thailand (8-19 March 2010, Miro I and II)
Savitri Suwansathit, Advisor to the Ministry of Culture and artist, works with oil and acrylic. Her paintings feature Thai women in traditional rural settings with mountains, rice fields, ponds and seas in the background, reflecting on different symbolically important moments of their lives.

illustration Musical evening: concert with international artists (8 March 2010, 6:30 – 9 p.m., Room I
This concert of 3 singers from different countries is organized in collaboration with l’Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie.
Upon invitation only. Limited places available.

illustration Workshop : Gender Equality and Progress in Societies (12 March 2010, 9 am to 7 pm, OECD)
The Workshop on "Gender Equality and Progress in Societies" will take place on 12 March 2010, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in OECD Development Centre : 2 rue André Pascal, 75775 Paris Cedex 16. Upon invitation only. Limited places available

» UNESCO Celebrates International Women's Day 2010

History of International Women's Day
International Women's Day, formalized by the United Nations in 1977, not only reminds us about the victories of women, but also invites us to reflect upon the role and status of women in the world at large.

UNESCO LogoUNESCO: Women Make the News 2010

Launched annually on the occasion of the International Women’s Day (8 March), Women Make the News (WMN) is a global initiative aimed at promoting gender equality in the media.

illustrationThis year’s theme,”Towards Gender Sensitive Indicators for Media: Best practices for gender perspective in media and in media content”, is intended to launch a global exchange on the importance and the need for gender sensitive indicators for media organizations.

Fifteen years ago the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, adopted at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in September 1995, highlighted the key role of media to promote gender equality in all spheres. All stakeholders are called to join forces to combat “stereotyping of women and inequality in women's access to and participation in all communication systems, especially in the media”.

» "Women Make the News 2010" website

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

International Women’s Day message from top UN official in Asia and the Pacific

The “transformational” leadership of women has made the world a better place, the top United Nations official in the Asia-Pacific region says, urging continued efforts to reach targets for gender equality around the globe.

Speaking yesterday in Malaysia at the “Women of Independence Conference”, Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), called on women to continue their quest for gender equality by building on past achievements such as the establishment of legal frameworks to protect the rights of women and girls; better access to social and economic opportunities; steps by governments to address violence against women; and the establishment of institutional mechanisms such as Ministries of Women’s Affairs.

» Read more

UN LogoUnited Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC):

Progress and Challenges Faced by Women: 15 Years since Beijing
Monday, 8 March 2010, from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m.
in Conference Room 7 (NLB)
UNHQ, New York, USA

Briefing by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Division for Gender Affairs on the occasionof International Women's Day: The Road Ahead for the Caribbean and Latin America towards the Eleventh Session of the Regional Conference on Woman in Latin America and the Carribean.

» Download the event flyer

UNIDO LogoUnited Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO):

International Women’s Day 2010 Message on behalf of the UNIDO Director-General: “Equal rights, equal opportunities: progress for all"

On the occasion of International Women's Day, we celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women in the past, present and future. We recognize the invaluable contributions that women have made and continue to make, across all boundaries, whether they are national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.

We also seek to ensure that women have equal rights and opportunities to live a full and decent life. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Women as a group suffer from discrimination of many types, but particularly with regard to access to decent work, resources, skills and capacity development. This is perpetuating poverty and creating a multiplier effect in poor households and communities...

» Read the full statement

» UNIDO Director-General says women in developing world need skills, financial support to overcome poverty (News)

UNFPA LogoUnited Nations Population Fund (UNFPA):

International Women's Day Message by UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Obaid

"On International Women's Day, let us pay tribute to all women worldwide who contribute so much to the well-being of their families, communities and nations..."
» UNFPA online video channel

» Sadness and Optimism Mark International Women's Day Celebration in Haiti

UN LogoUnited Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

UNRWA marks International Women’s Day 2010:
Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All

Monday 8 March 2010 is International Women’s Day. It is a global day to recognise and celebrate women’s achievements, and to look ahead to the opportunities that await future generations.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is marking the day with events across its five fields, including bazaars, workshops and film screenings.

Over the next week we will profile stories of refugee women UNRWA has helped.

» Read more

» On International Women's Day, UNRWA and the EU Celebrate Palestinian Women

UN LogoWorld Food Programme (WFP):

Send a Message of Solidarity
When food is scarce, women and children suffer the most. Empowering women can break the cycle of hunger and poverty. WFP distributes food through women as it's the best way to ensure that entire families will eat. In honor of International Women's Day, March 8, you can send a message of solidarity to women worldwide. We'll make sure your messages are shared across the globe.
» Send a message of solidarity now

"Women: The Most Effective Solution For Combating Hunger"
Women form the backbone of the agricultural sector in many countries and play a key role in getting food onto the table. Speaking on International Women's Day, Isatou Jallow, chief of WFP’s Gender Unit, explains the central role that women play in fighting hunger.
» Read more

WB LogoThe World Bank

Women See Great Progress, But Obstacles to Equality Remain

Women have much to celebrate on International Women’s Day. Today, they govern in countries as diverse as Germany, Chile and Liberia; live longer and better lives than their mothers and grandmothers; and increasingly contribute to the world’s economy. Still, too many women continue to die while giving birth and make less money than their male counterparts.

“We have lived through dramatic changes in the last 20 years,” said World Bank Gender Director Mayra Buvinic. “Women have increased their political participation and have massively entered the workforce. They are breaking all kinds of glass ceilings.”

» Read more

WHO LogoWorld Health Organization (WHO):

Statement by WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan International Women's Day 2010:

Equal rights and opportunities for women and girls essential for better health

Thirty years after the adoption of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), many girls and women still do not have equal opportunities to realize rights recognized by law. In many countries, women are not entitled to own property or inherit land. Social exclusion, "honour" killings, female genital mutilation, trafficking, restricted mobility and early marriage among others, deny the right to health to women and girls and increase illness and death throughout the life-course...

» Read more

» Joint statement on the rights of adolescent girls

UN LogoUnited Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS)

International Women's Day: UNMIS trains women activists in human rights

In line with the 2010 International Women’s Day theme, “Equal rights, equal opportunities: progress for all”, UNMIS held a two-day human rights training workshop in Wau during the first week of March.

The event brought together over 40 women activists from civil society, state institutions and the state assembly. “The training was part of an UNMIS effort to empower and strengthen the knowledge and understanding by women of their rights,” said Marcel Zinsou, UNMIS Human Rights Team Leader for Wau.

» Read more

UN LogoUnited Nations Information Centres (UNICs):

“Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All” as Kenya commemorates International Women’s Day

UNIS Vienna reports International Women’s Day activities

Washington’s celebration of International Women’s Day

UNIC Moscow holds an event dedicated to the International Women's Day

Media Workshop to promote International Women’s Day 2010

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