UN System Observances for International Women’s Day 2013

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UN System Observances for International Women’s Day 2013

In 1975, during International Women’s Year, the United Nations began celebrating 8 March as International Women’s Day.

A Promise is A Promise_November 28 Event_Conference Room 6 (2)Two years later, in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.

For the United Nations, International Women’s Day has been observed on 8 March since 1975. The Day is traditionally marked with a message from the Secretary-General.

The official United Nations theme for International Women’s Day 2013 is;

“A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women.”

Below is a summary of UN system observances, news and related links for IWD 2013.

 

United Nations

Message from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Occasion of International Women’s Day

unAs we commemorate International Women’s Day, we must look back on a year of shocking crimes of violence against women and girls and ask ourselves how to usher in a better future.

One young woman was gang-raped to death. Another committed suicide out of a sense of shame that should have attached to the perpetrators. Young teens were shot at close range for daring to seek an education.

These atrocities, which rightly sparked global outrage, were part of a much larger problem that pervades virtually every society and every realm of life.

Look around at the women you are with. Think of those you cherish in your families and your communities. And understand that there is a statistical likelihood that many of them have suffered violence in their lifetime. Even more have comforted a sister or friend, sharing their grief and anger following an attack.

Secretary-General’s Message

“As we commemorate International Women’s Day, we must look back on a year of shocking crimes of violence against women and girls and ask ourselves how to usher in a better future.

One young woman was gang-raped to death. Another committed suicide out of a sense of shame that should have attached to the perpetrators. Young teens were shot at close range for daring to seek an education.

These atrocities, which rightly sparked global outrage, were part of a much larger problem that pervades virtually every society and every realm of life.

Look around at the women you are with. Think of those you cherish in your families and your communities. And understand that there is a statistical likelihood that many of them have suffered violence in their lifetime. Even more have comforted a sister or friend, sharing their grief and anger following an attack.

This year on International Women’s Day, we convert our outrage into action. We declare that we will prosecute crimes against women – and never allow women to be subjected to punishments for the abuses they have suffered. We renew our pledge to combat this global health menace wherever it may lurk – in homes and businesses, in war zones and placid countries, and in the minds of people who allow violence to continue.

We also make a special promise to women in conflict situations, where sexual violence too often becomes a tool of war aimed at humiliating the enemy by destroying their dignity.

To those women we say: the United Nations stands with you. As Secretary-General, I insist that the welfare of all victims of sexual violence in conflict must be at the forefront of our activities. And I instruct my senior advisors to make our response to sexual violence a priority in all of our peace-making, peacekeeping and peacebuilding activities.

The United Nations system is advancing our UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, which is based on the simple but powerful premise that all women and girls have a fundamental human right to live free of violence.

This week in New York, at the Commission on the Status of Women, the world is holding the largest-ever UN assembly on ending violence against women. We will make the most of this gathering – and we keep pressing for progress long after it concludes.

I welcome the many governments, groups and individuals who have contributed to this campaign. I urge everyone to join our effort. Whether you lend your funds to a cause or your voice to an outcry, you can be part of our global push to end this injustice and provide women and girls with the security, safety and freedom they deserve.”

Ban Ki-moon

IWD-1

 

Related Links

 

Food And Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

faologoRelated Links

Joint IFAD, FAO, IDLO and WFP Event in Partnership with the Government of Iceland: Women, Violence and Food Security
10:00-12:30, Central European Time, 8 March, WFP Headquarters, Rome, Italy

 

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Message from IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano on the Occasion of International Women’s Day

iaea-2By 2030 the nuclear power production could expand by 20% or even 100%. That means we will need many more trained, qualified staff at construction companies, research laboratories and nuclear power plants. IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano believes that by training and recruiting more women, we can provide a sensible solution to meet the challenge. During his speech at the 2013 International Women’s Day celebration at the Vienna International Centre, Mr. Amano also spoke about the “very capable” professional women now working in nuclear law, nuclear science, research and regulation, and the important roles they play in inspiring young women and girls to pursue careers in the field. Watch video »

  • International Fund for Agricultural Development
  • International Women’s Day 2013: Ending gender-based violence and boosting food security

ROME, Italy – People around the world have celebrated International Women’s Day on 8 March every year since 1975. This year, the United Nations observance highlights the urgent need for action to end violence against women. For IFAD and its partners, that means empowering rural women and girls through, improved livelihoods, access to education and opportunities for safer, more dignified lives. It also means addressing gender-based violence as both a fundamental human rights issue and a serious impediment to food and nutrition security.

IFAD’s own policy on gender equality and women’s empowerment states that strengthening gender equality makes a major contribution to improving food security, reducing child malnutrition and promoting inclusive economic growth that can lift rural people out of poverty. However, it is clear that gender-based violence in a rural context hinders agricultural development and food security. Injuries and illnesses caused by violence and abuse limit the livelihood options of women in their most productive years. At the same time, stigma may deprive them of access to technical knowledge, training, basic services and other essentials. Read more »

Related Links

Joint IFAD, FAO, IDLO and WFP Event in Partnership with the Government of Iceland: Women, Violence and Food Security
10:00-12:30, Central European Time, 8 March, WFP Headquarters, Rome, Italy

International Labour Organization (ILO)

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International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Message from Ambassador William Lacy Swing, Director General of the International Organization for Migration on the Occasion of International Women’s Day

Diverse, innovative approaches are needed to ensure safe migration for women and girls, says IOM

Geneva – In today’s increasingly mobile and interconnected world, migration has become an integral part of the lives of over 100 million women. At different stages of their lives, a growing proportion of these women leave their familiar surroundings to study, work, marry, reunite with their families or flee a dangerous situation.

“For many women and girls, migration is a way to fulfil their potential, to develop and to exercise their human rights. But being both a migrant and female also exposes them to risk – the risk of being subjected to violence,” says Ambassador William Lacy Swing, Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Women migrants predominantly work in the informal sector – often in unregulated professions such as domestic work, agriculture or services – which makes them particularly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. The majority of victims of human trafficking are also women and girls.

In addition, women tend to be over-represented among the 27.5 million internally displaced people (IDPs) globally, and research indicates that in situations of crisis and forced displacement, the break-down of family and social structures exposes them to acute risks of physical and sexual violence.

Read more: Arabic [pdf] | English | French | Spanish

Related Links

Factsheet: Taking Action against Violence and Discrimination Affecting Migrant Women and Girls

 

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Violence against women impedes development

unicef-2 NEW YORK, United States of America, 8 March 2013 – The United Nations is focusing on violence against women on this year’s International Women’s Day.

A problem all of us need to address

Violence against women is a major obstacle to development, and, unless its root causes are addressed, many of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will not be met. Women’s rights are tied to every MDG.

Violence is an issue that blights the futures of millions of women and girls, every day, all over the world.

“Gender-based violence is a problem that all of us need to address if we want our societies to look the way we would envision for our children,” said UNICEF Principal Adviser on Gender Rights and Civic Engagement Anju Malhotra. Up to 7 in 10 women report having been physically or sexually abused at some point in their lifetime. Up to 50 per cent of sexual assaults are committed against girls under the age of 16. Read more»

 

 

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Message from UNDP Administrator Helen Clark on the Occasion of International Women’s Day

undpOn this International Women’s Day, we imagine a world free of violence against women and girls, a world in which women and girls do not fear being attacked in their homes or communities, and one where would-be perpetrators know they will be held accountable for their crimes.

The theme for International Women’s Day this year is “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women.”

Indeed, it is now time for increased action to end this abuse. In 1995, at the Fourth World Conference for Women, governments identified violence against women as a violation of human rights and an “obstacle to the achievement of the objectives of equality, development and peace.”

But the persistent prevalence of violence against women – experienced by up to seven in ten women at some point in their lifetime – shows that promises to end violence against women have not been met.

Today is a good day to recognize and speak out against the scourge of violence against women. But we must do more than that.

Preventing and eliminating violence against women requires leadership and political will backed by action and resources. Read more »

Related IWD Video: Helen Clark’s Interview on Violence Against Women

Related IWD Video: Antonio Banderas – Stop Violence Against Women Now!

Related Links

 

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

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

On International Women’s Day, we celebrate the strides that have been made to advance women’s rights and the individual heroes, girls and women, who are making history in societies across the world.

This is also a day to cast an objective eye on where we stand and reflect on the obstacles that remain. Violence against women is one of the most deadly and widespread violations of women’s rights across the world. Violence takes many shapes — physical, sexual, psychological and economic — but the result remains the same devastating violation of fundamental rights and human dignity. There are concerted efforts at all levels to stop this violence, but progress is haltingly slow. Read more »

Related Links

 

United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR)

Message from UNISDR Chief Margareta Wahlström on the Occasion of International Women’s Day

New HFA to Ensure Women Involved in Disaster Risk Management, says UNISDR

GENEVA, 8 March 2012 — The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNISDR, today marked International Women’s Day with an announcement that women will play a central role in developing the next global framework on disaster risk reduction.

3e05dac95844317e61b8172815b67ad8-450x0Margareta Wahlström, UNISDR Chief said: “So far this century, we can conservatively state that over 500,000 women have died in disasters and over one billion have lost their homes or been otherwise affected by the growing tide of disasters and extreme weather events worldwide. The next global framework on disaster risk reduction to be agreed by 2015 must address the underlying causes.”

A mid-term review of the existing international framework on disaster risk reduction, the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), found that the vast majority of countries reporting on its implementation do not factor in gender issues during disaster planning and often ignore the contributions of women.

Ms. Wahlström said: “We are now at a crucial stage in the consultations on the next HFA or HFA2. It is clear that we need more specific commitments from governments, local governments, the private sector and other stakeholders that they will tap into the knowledge and skills of women who are always key to any successful response efforts when disaster strikes. Unfortunately, they are all too often ignored during the planning and preparedness phases. This must change.”

Read more [pdf]»

Related Links

 

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

Message from UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov on the Occasion of International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day, 8 March 2013, is an important day to reflect on the many accomplishments of women, but we should also remember the millions of women across the globe who continue to face violence, abuse and even murder.

Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread violations of human rights. It includes physical, sexual, psychological and economic abuse cutting across every boundary of age, race, culture, wealth and geography.

The most violent and dramatic form of violence against women is their murder, which is often motivated by gender. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that, in 2010, 84,000 females were the victims of homicide globally. This figure represents 18 per cent of the 468,000 homicides occurring in that year. In many of these cases, the female victims are killed by intimate partners or family members. Read more »

Related Links

Millions of women and girls confront violence around the world says UNODC Executive Director

 

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Message from UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin on the Occasion of International Women’s Day

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, I want to take this opportunity to renew the commitment of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, to strengthening and expanding our efforts to do everything we can to bring an end to gender-based violence. Gender-based violence remains a major health and human rights concern and no human development can be achieved as long as women and girls continue to suffer from violence or live in fear of it.

This year’s International Women’s Day coincides with the ongoing meeting at the United Nations, at New York, of the Commission on the Status of Women, which this year focusses on the priority theme of Addressing Violence against Women.

Globally, millions of women and girls are subjected to all forms of violence, including rape, intimate partner violence, female genital mutilations/cuttings, child marriages and sexual violence in armed conflict and during humanitarian crisis. Read more »

Related Video Message

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UN Women

Message from Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director UN Women Michelle Bachelet on the Occasion of International Women’s Day

 

Related video message: English | French | Spanish

unwomenToday on International Women’s Day I join every individual who believes that change is possible. We are guided by a founding principle of the United Nations: the equal rights of men and women.

All around the world, our voices are rising, and silence and indifference are declining. Change is possible. And change is happening.

Change is happening when every country, for the first time in history, has women on their Olympic teams, as they did this past summer in London. Read more »

Related Links

World Food Programme (WFP)

wfp  Related Links

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