Diverse events including online film festivals and all-female DJ line-up
Every year, International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 across the world. In about 170 countries, diverse events are held by the United Nations, women’s organizations, civic groups, and local communities.
The theme for this year is ‘Equality for Women is Progress for All,’ reflecting a message that gender equality leads to social and national development. The UN commemorated IWD at its headquarters in New York on March 7, on the eve of the 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women. It was attended by Secretary-General Ban Kimoon, Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and Former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, among others.
In his congratulatory remarks delivered on March 3, Secretary-General Ban Kimoon said “Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth. Companies with more women leaders perform better. Peace agreements that include women are more durable. Parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination, and child support. The evidence is clear: equality for women is progress for all.”
On the same day, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka argued “Empowering women and girls and supporting their full participation can help solve the greatest challenges of the 21st century such as poverty, inequality, and violence against women and girls.”
In celebration of IWD and Women’s History Month, an innovative public media initiative Women and Girls Lead launched #SheDocs Online Film Festival. During the entire month of March, the festival will showcase 12 documentaries including ‘Beauty in Truth’ by the Pulitzer prize-winning novelist Alice Walker and ‘Bhutto’ which portrays the life of Benazir Bhutto, the first woman elected to lead a Muslim country.
BBC Radio 1 marked the International Women’s Day by broadcasting an all-female line-up of DJs for 39 hours from 7pm on March 7 until 10am on March 9. The head of Programming for Radio 1 Rhys Hughes explained “It was a 39-hour celebration of our female presenter talent.”
Edinburgh and Glasgow have their own events as well. While Glasgow Museums Resource Centre unveiled ‘Women in Ancient Egypt,’ Filmhouse located in Edinburgh screened a documentary film on Eufrosina Mendoza, a Mexican revolutionist.
In Australia, the Australian Computer Society celebrated IWD by making it about men. The Society organized an event to recognize the role of men in shattering the glass ceiling and encouraging women to contribute to the development of IT industry.