International Women's Day
- New York City 03/08/2015 by Linda Perry Barr (Combined Sources)

International Working Women's Day Coalition
Marchers on International Women’s Day went from the United Nations to Times Square. They joined voices around the world demanding pay equity and equal participation in policy decisions.

Back in 1995, 189 governments signed a pledge for Women's Rights, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. It focused attention on issues such as women’s poverty, violence, education and health.

Gains however have been slow and uneven according to UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. She says we still have a long way to go for equality between men and women, boys and girls. "Gender parity must be reached before 2030, so that the sluggish trajectory of progress can be reversed that condemns a child born today to wait 80 years before they see an equal world."  Mlambo-Ngcuka calls on all countries to “step it up” for gender equality,to reach ‘Planet 50-50’ before 2030. 

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon agrees. He says rape being used as a war weapon, from Nigeria and Somalia to Iraq and Syria is one of the most urgent issues to address.

This annual UN gathering of the Commission on the Status of Women, takes place March 9 - 20. That's where participants will be assessing progress and obstacles for women worldwide. Activists will bring critical perspectives on a wide range of issues, informed by their expertise on local conditions and on the international human rights framework.

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