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International Women's Day International Women's Day
by The Ovi Team
2017-03-08 09:07:16
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womInternational Women's Day (8 March) is an occasion marked by women's groups around the world. This date is also commemorated at the United Nations and is designated in many countries as a national holiday. When women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development.

International Women's Day is the story of ordinary women as makers of history; it is rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men. In ancient Greece, Lysistrata initiated a sexual strike against men in order to end war; during the French Revolution, Parisian women calling for "liberty, equality, fraternity" marched on Versailles to demand women's suffrage.

The idea of an International Women's Day first arose at the turn of the century, which in the industrialized world was a period of expansion and turbulence, booming population growth and radical ideologies. Following is a brief account of some interesting facts:

Each year, more than 500,000 women - at least one every minute - die from pregnancy-related causes. The vast majority of these deaths occur in developing countries. An African woman's lifetime risk of dying from pregnancy-related causes is one in 16; in Asia, it's one in 65. In Europe, it's one in 1,400.

Women now account for almost half of all cases of HIV/AIDS. In countries with high prevalence rates, young women are at higher risk of contracting HIV than young men.

Of 876 MILLION illiterate adults in the developing world, two-thirds are women.

Of the more than 600 million school-age children in the developing world, 120 million primary school-age children are not in school; 53 percent are girls.

In higher education, the level of women's enrolment equals or exceeds that of men in western Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and developed regions outside Western Europe. But in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, women's enrolment continues to lag behind, with 44 and 38 women per 100 men, respectively.

In Africa, women account for more than 60 percent of the rural labour force and produce 80 percent of the food. A shifting emphasis on cash crops for export means more work for women, as they also must grow food for their families.

Women produce half the world's food, but own only one percent of its farmland.

Self-employment, part-time and home-based work have expanded opportunities for women's participation in the labour force but are characterized by lack of security, lack of benefits and low income.

Half of the world's refugees and displaced people are women and girls. As refugees, they are particularly vulnerable to sexual violence while in flight, in refugee camps and during resettlement.

 

 

 

 


   
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Danielle Nierenberg2010-03-09 00:46:49
Just as an FYI, I am writing daily from Africa about food and agriculture issues for the Worldwatch Institute's Nourishing the Planet blog. I've been focusing on highlighting women and their innovations to help alleviate hunger and poverty. Here is the link to the site www.nourishingtheplanet.org, feel free to check it out. I would love for you to consider cross-posting any posts or to include a link to your site. My personal diary about the trip is called BorderJumpers at www.borderjumpers.org. I'm headed to Ghana now, we've done research and written about Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana, South Africa, Madagascar, and Mauritius. Thanks again for your coverage of International Woman's Day, Danielle Nierenberg


Leah Sellers2013-03-08 22:15:36
Yes, the World as a Whole is in Need of quite a bit of Innovative, Nurturing and Sustaining Mothering-Woman-izing (in the Sense of Women's Empowerment and poignant Influence).


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