“International Women’s Day is one moment each year when the world is attuned to the voices and concerns of women. But when women come together to advance change, the resulting energy can’t be contained to one day or even one month. This is the clear message that has emerged over the past weeks as women in our global network marked the occasion of International Women's Day in a diversity of meaningful ways. They celebrated; they called for action; they sought to raise awareness;they shared poetry;they voiced concerns.”
“This year, the International Women's Day theme was “Make It Happen.” As women’s month comes to a close, we invite you to celebrate with us the grassroots women leaders who are making it happen day in and day out, and who are turning this moment into a movement.”
“The target of our work is not just to make our mothers proud of us but to prepare the future of our daughters and granddaughters…. The battle has just started and still continues.”
“For some, March 8 was a day to reflect with gratitude on those who inspire them. Libudsuroy in the Philippineshonoredthe legacy of slain human rights defender Siche Bautista Gandina, while Catherine Veronica in the UKappreciatedher dad for instilling feminist values. Ek’a in the Democratic Republic of Congothankedthe previous generation for their hard work and encouraged her own generation of young women to step up to their challenge.”
“International Women’s Day coincided this year with the 20-year anniversary of the BeijingDeclaration and Platform for Action, which brought governments and global activists together in 1995 to make historic commitments to women’s rights. For Dudziro Nhengu this anniversary was a moment to reconcile the progress in Zimbabwe over the past 20 years with the work that still needs to be done to live up to the promise of the constitution—and an opportunity to envision the feminist leadership she hopes to see. For Malayapinas in the Philippines, it was a day to appreciate motherhood, and to challenge her government to adopt mother-friendly policies. And for Mkandeh in the UK, it was a chance to shed light on the “long and rugged” road ahead to end domestic violence in her native Sierra Leone (warning: this post includes a graphic photo).”
“Today, I am celebrating my lovely mother, sister, grandmother, aunts, cousins, coworkers, roommates, friends, mentors, sheroes, and the next generation of girls with twinkles in their eyes.”
“It was also a day to come together and celebrate. The International Women’s Day celebration at Zephaniah Free School in Pakistan provided local women a break from isolation and heavy responsibilities at home, and an opportunity to affirm their rights. ”
“Zephaniah Free School hosted games, gave gifts, and offered hairstyling to local women make this a special day for them. Photo courtesy of Sister Zeph.”
“As we celebrate this year’s international women’s day, let us bear in mind that there shall be no bridging the gender equity gap if women are still being bullied or brow beaten into dropping out of school for their brothers.
World Pulse members highlighted women’s voices on the global issues they care about, fromgirls’ educationtofood safety.Amid reflection, this was also a day of energy and action. In Nigeria, a country under threat by Boko Haram, Vweta wasworkingto turn girls’ education adversaries into allies. Her organization led community dialogues to change the minds of those who have the power to keep girls in school: local chiefs, parents, religious leaders.
Meanwhile, Agnes Igoye in Uganda organized the first Women In Public Service Project (WPSP) Institute in Africa, uniting women leaders around the theme of Leadership for Transparent and Accountable Governance.
And International Women's Day was an opportunity to advance important agendas. Nabiye Talurged passage of the International Violence Against Women Act while the International Federation of University Womenpressured policy makers to recognise, promote, and support the critical role of women in the economy.
"One step at a time, we climbed; we the women of Bamenda climbed the mighty Up Station Hill to meet His Excellency the governor of the northwest region of Cameroon, with an envelope in hand to send to the president of the Republic." Photo courtesy of Nakinti.
It was a day that affirmed the collective strength of women gathered in solidarity. Nakinti in Cameroon celebrated amid songs of praise and signs advocating peace as she joined women of Bamenda in aninterfaith prayer marchup a hill to address the governor of the northwest region of Cameroon.
As women across the globe climb hills of their own—from accessing education and breaking through glass ceilings to claiming the safety and freedom to pursue their dreams—the force of women's voices rising together will help sustain the difficult work ahead.