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TODAY, March 8th, is International Women’s Day.

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It is a day to celebrate the achievements of Women over the years… and to encourage new achievements for today and the years to come. 

It is a day to ensure the the advancement of women in this ever progressing world… in our work forces; in our every day lives.

It is a day bring an awareness and to remember that we are all equal and to continue to strive for this equality. 

“International Women’s Day 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.” ~United Nations

“The world of humanity is possessed of two wings: the male and the female. So long as these two wings are not equivalent in strength, the bird will not fly. Until womankind reaches the same degree as man, until she enjoys the same arena of activity, extraordinary attainment for humanity will not be realized; humanity cannot wing its way to heights of real attainment. When the two wings . . . become equivalent in strength, enjoying the same prerogatives, the flight of man will be exceedingly lofty and extraordinary. ~ Bahá’í Writings

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“To be truly transformative, the post-2015 development agenda must prioritize gender equality and women’s empowerment. The world will never realize 100 per cent of its goals if 50 per cent of its people cannot realize their full potential.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, (2015)

In September 1995, almost twenty (20) years ago, the fourth Women’s Conference was held in Beijing, China. Resulting from this Conference was the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action for Equality, Development and Peace, signed by 189 governments. [you can download the Declaration HERE].

The World signed a Promise to bring about a place where Men and Women are equal; where all “women have access to education“… where the “laws and administrative practices (are revised) to ensure women’s equal rights and access to economic resources“… where “measures (are put into place) to prevent and eliminate violence against women” and a promise to “ensure equality and non-discrimination under the law and in practice“, and so forth.

In her speech at the Beijing Conference, Hillary Rodham Clinton said: “…If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, it is that human rights are women’s rights – and women’s rights are human rights. Let us not forget that among those rights are the right to speak freely – and the right to be heard.

“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights” ~Gloria Steinem

“…Let’s Picture it! An Equal World, and an Equal World for ALL…” ~ UN Women Executive Director,
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
, (2015)

The UN Women Infographic below shows how far we’ve come from this Declaration, and how far we still have to go. 

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

(Original Infographic: Gender equality: Where are we? can be found here:  http://beijing20.unwomen.org/en/infographic/beijing-at-20)

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in 2014, Emma Watson, UN Goodwill Ambassador and British actress, helped launch the UN Women HeForShe campaign, which calls for men and boys to support and ensure gender quality; to end this inequality.
HeForShe is a solidarity movement for gender equality that brings together one half of humanity in support of the other half of humanity, for the benefit of all.” 

You can see her full Speech here at the Launch of the Campaign:

“…Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong. It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum, instead of two sets of opposing ideals. If we stop defining each other by what we are not, and start defining ourselves by who we are, we can all be freer, and this is what HeForShe is about. It’s about freedom…

If you believe in equality, you might be one of those inadvertent feminists that I spoke of earlier, and for this, I applaud you. We are struggling for a uniting word, but the good news is, we have a uniting movement. It is called HeForShe. I invite you to step forward, to be seen and to ask yourself, “If not me, who? If not now, when?””
~ Emma Watson, UN Goodwill Ambassador (2014)

You can find out more about the HeForShe Campaign HERE. Go show your support!

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There are many resources throughout the Internet highlighting today, International Women’s Day. 

These are a few that caught my eye:

Celebrating Working Women: International Women’s Day

The Journey of Women’s Rights: 1911-2015

 

 

So Join us in the Celebration of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2015. Everyone is Equal. Everyone has the Right to Equality.

Let us all, work towards this Equality!

 

Resources:

  1. http://www.internationalwomensday.com/
  2. http://www.bahai.org/
  3. http://www.un.org/en/events/womensday/
  4. http://beijing20.unwomen.org/en
  5. http://beijing20.unwomen.org/en/infographic/beijing-at-20
  6. http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/beijing/platform/index.html
  7. http://www.internationalwomensday.com/about.asp#.VPxotnzF_5M
  8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Women%27s_Day
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