Why International Women's Day matters

Reuters

Email Print

Why International Women's Day matters
 FORCED MARRIAGE: About one in three women alive today was married before she was 15, according to UNICEF.
A man holds a girl as she tries to escape when she realized she is to to be married, about 80 km (50 miles) from the town of Marigat in Baringo County, Kenya December 7, 2014. As Pokot tradition dictates, the future husband arrived to her family home with a group of men to collect the girl. The men arrived with the last settled dowry of livestock for the girl's family. In this case it was 20 goats, three camels and 10 cows, given during a period of several weeks. The remaining 10 cows were to be given the morning the girl was taken to her new home by her husband and the rest of the men. The girl was unaware of the marriage arrangements that her father had made. The family said that if they had told her in advance she might have run away from home.
ACID ATTACKS: Acid throwing and other so-called "honor crimes", which can include murder, abduction, mutilation, and beatings, are widely reported in regions everywhere in the world. The UN estimates around 5,000 women and girls are murdered each year under such circumstances.
Sangita Magar, 16, cries as she lies down on a bed at a hospital while undergoing treatment after an unidentified person attacked her with a bottle of acid in Kathmandu, Nepal February 22, 2015. Sangita and her friend Sima Basnet were attacked by the stranger while they were sitting inside their coaching class early morning, according to Sangita.  
HONOR CRIMES: Afghan men look at the site where an Afghan woman was beaten to death and her body set on fire in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 20, 2015. A mob in the Afghan capital killed a woman, set her body on fire and threw it into a muddy river in the heart of Kabul, a police official said.  
FORCED CAPTIVITY: Thousands of women and girls in Iraq's Yazidi minority have been abducted by the Islamic State, forcibly married, or "gifted" to IS fighters. Yazidi sisters, who escaped from captivity by Islamic State militants, sit in a tent at Sharya refugee camp on the outskirts of Duhok province, Iraq July 3, 2015. 
FORCED CAPTIVITY: At least 2,000 women and girls have been abducted by Boko Haram since 2014, according to Amnesty International. Parents of the Chibok girls cry during their meeting with Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa in Abuja, Nigeria, January 14, 2016 
 SEXUAL ASSAULT: Each year, there are 293,000 instances of sexual assault in the U.S. alone, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN).
Lady Gaga sings her Oscar-nominated song "Til It Happens to You" at the 88th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 28, 2016. Vice President Joe Biden made a special appearance at the Oscars ceremony to advocate for victims of sexual assault and introduced a powerful performance by Lady Gaga that featured survivors of sexual abuse.
 ACCESS TO EDUCATION: The pursuit of education can be a life-threatening endeavor in places such as Afghanistan, where the Taliban and other groups opposed to education, especially to girls' education, carry out assassinations, bombings, poisonings and crossfire. Between 2009 and 2012, the UN reported more than 1,000 attacks on education in Afghanistan alone.
Afghan girls study at an open area, founded by Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), outside Jalalabad city, Afghanistan September 16, 2015. 
RESTRICTED ABORTION ACCESS: In the United States, the Supreme Court is hearing arguments in a legal challenge to restrictive abortion laws in Texas, with a ruling expected by the end of June. The Texas case is the latest example of opponents applying restrictive regulations to abortion doctors and facilities rather than trying to ban the procedure outright.
Protesters demonstrate in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on the morning that the court took up a major abortion case focusing on whether a Texas law that imposes strict regulations on abortion doctors and clinic buildings interferes with the constitutional right of a woman to end her pregnancy in Washington March 2, 2016.  
STREET HARASSMENT: According to a 2013 UN Women report, 99.3 percent of Egyptian women say they have been the victim of sexual harassment, which the report described as "the outbreak of lawlessness, and the feeling among the youths that they can harass females with impunity." Another UN study revealed that 43 percent of young women in London, UK, had experienced street harassment.
A woman raises a knife and shouts slogans against Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi and members of the Brotherhood during a march against sexual harassment and violence against women in Cairo February 6, 2013. The rally comes in response to recent cases of sexual assault in both Tahrir Square and Cairo's Mohamed Mahmoud Street.  
FORCED STERILIZATION: Sterilizing people against their will has been used to control marginalized groups, Amnesty International alleges. In Peru in the 1990s, for instance, around 200,000 mainly indigenous or poor women were sterilized, many without informed consent.
Women, with their bodies painted with blood, hold signs reading: "... women were sterilized without their consent..." during a protest near the Attorney General's Office in Lima, November 18, 2015. Amnesty International pressed Peruvian President Ollanta Humala in July 2015 to track down scores of poor Andean women who might have been forcibly sterilized by government doctors in the late 1990s. 
JAILED FOR MISCARRIAGE: In El Salvador and Nicaragua, women have been arrested or charged after suffering miscarriages or pregnancy complications -- in states where abortion is illegal.
Domestic worker Carmen Guadalupe Vasquez pauses during a news conference, after being released from prison in San Salvador, February 19, 2015. El Salvador's Congress pardoned Vazquez, who was accused of abortion and later sentenced to 30 years in prison for homicide, in a landmark case that has put the country's harsh laws under the spotlight.  
GENDER WAGE GAP: In the U.S. the average woman's unadjusted annual salary is 78 percent of that of the average male, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wachovia employees listen to Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf during a news conference at the Wachovia corporate headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, October 15, 2008. 
 WOMEN IN GOVERNANCE: In the United States, there are 84 female representatives, or 19.3 percent of the body, in the House of Representatives. In the Senate, there are 20 female senators in a body of 100. The legs of five women members of the U.S. House of Representatives are seen during the opening session of the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina September 4, 2012.
 VIOLENCE AGAINST SEX WORKERS: Violence against women can take on many dimensions, but among the world's most vulnerable and marginalized women are sex workers. In many countries, they are threatened with abuse, rape, extortion, often with little legal protection, according to Amnesty International, as well as risks of human trafficking and HIV transmission.
Vanessa, 13, who was picked up by the police on the streets, is pictured at a shelter for girls who have faced sexual violence or sexual commercial exploitation, where she was sheltered after undergoing treatment for crack cocaine abuse, in Fortaleza, Brazil November 1, 2013. 
ABORTION ILLEGAL: In countries such as Ireland, abortion is outright illegal. Siobhan Clancy takes part in a vigil in memory of Savita Halappanavar and in support of changes to abortion law in Dublin November 17, 2012. A wave of protests took place across Ireland in 2012 in response to the death of 31-year old Halappanavar who died of septicaemia following a miscarriage 17 weeks into her pregnancy.  

More World News