Happy International Women’s Day!

iwd_squareIt’s International Women’s Day! The United Nations’ theme for IWD this year is “A Promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women,” and across the globe, individuals and organizations have planned hundreds of events celebrating the annual event. Here are some of them:

—From March 4th to 15th, the members of the UN are gathering in New York for the 57th “Commission on the Status of Women.” This year, the Commission is focused on eliminating and preventing violence against women. UN Women executive director Michelle Bachelet released an IWD video statement on YouTube saying, “Enough is enough,” stressing that discrimination and violence against women have no place in the 21st century.

—Secretary of State John Kerry will honor nine extraordinary women with the Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Awards. The awardees include women from all over the world, including a Tibetan poet, a Russian human-rights journalist, a Nigerian women’s rights activist, an Egyptian protester, an Afghan sergeant and a Honduran professor-turned-crusader in the war on drugs.

—The UK government released an interactive map showing the government’s actions to empower women across the globe, including work being done by initiatives and projects such as Combatting Violence Against Women and GirlsForced Marriage Unit and Gender Justice and Protection.

Breakthrough, a global human rights organization, is launching “Ring The Bell,” a campaign asking men to promise to take action and end violence against women. Breakthrough hopes that “men, their allies, and their actions, can create [a] global tipping point” by working individually and in communities to “challenge the habits and norms that perpetuate violence.”

Amnesty International is calling on supporters to “stand in solidarity” by sending messages to the courageous women in the Middle East and North Africa, where women have been “standing up against repressive regimes to defend basic human rights and promote reform and equality.”

CNN and The Guardian are creating dialogues on Twitter for IWD. CNN reached out to readers and asked them to share their favorite quotes from “celebrated women of the world” under the hashtag #wisdomofwomen. The Guardian is hosting a Twitter chat with the hashtag #wherearethewomen to discuss the “shocking erasure of women from public life.”

A few more ways to celebrate the day: Make a donation to a women’s organization, listen to a feminist playlist, read a book on an inspirational woman, brush up on your women’s history (whether you’re in the library or on Wikipedia), or just thank another women who you’re happy to have in your life!

To find out about more events happening near you on International Women’s day, visit internationalwomensday.com

Image via internationalwomensday.com

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