Why International Women’s Day matters

By U.N.D.P. ,

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Women from the Falefa Primary School. PC: UNDP/Gerard Anapu.

Women from the Falefa Primary School. PC: UNDP/Gerard Anapu. (Photo: U.N.D.P. )

International Women’s Day is a celebration of the contribution and importance of women and girls in our society under the theme “Press for Progress”. 

Marked in Samoa and around the world on Thursday, the International Women’s Day (I.W.D.) is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.

This year, International Women’s Day comes on the heels of unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice. 

Sexual harassment, violence and discrimination against women has captured headlines and public discourse, propelled by a rising determination for change.

These are reflected in remarks by the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres that, “achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls is the unfinished business of our time, and the greatest human rights challenge in our world.” 

International Women’s Day 2018 was also an opportunity to transform this momentum into action, to empower women in all settings, rural and urban, and celebrate those who are working relentlessly to claim women’s rights and realize their full potential.

“Women are an integral part of our families, villages, communities, and Government. Recognizing their contribution, respecting their voices, and ending violence against women is a clear path to the sustainable development of our nation!,”  said Suisala Mele Maualaivao, UN Women Country Programme Coordinator for Samoa.

Celebrating International Women’s Day, the United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. for Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau, Roy Trivedy said: “The International Women’s Day is important as it gives us an opportunity to pause and recognize and acknowledge the importance of women in our society and the work that they do for themselves, their friends, their families, their communities, country and the world.

“Today (Thursday) we should celebrate, encourage and promote the work that women and girls do.

“I would like to wish the women in Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau, as well as all the women around the world a happy and an enjoyable International Women’s Day!”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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