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Women’s Empowerment Around The World: A blog series for International Women’s Day 2015

Women’s Empowerment Around The World: A blog series for International Women’s Day 2015

Sunday 8th March 2015


International Women’s Day has its origins in the socialist and women’s rights movements of the early 1900s. Since first celebrated on the 8th March 1913, it has been an opportunity to celebrate women’s achievements and to mobilise local and global action on diverse issues relating to women’s rights and gender equality.

Despite the spectacular gains in women’s rights that have been won (and hard fought for) since then, deeply-entrenched gender inequalities in social, political and economic spheres remain prevalent in every country around the world.

At HART, we see the widespread nature of gender discrimination and inequality as it is manifested in each of the eight countries in which we work, as well as in the UK – in the prevalence of sexual violence against women, in the lack of justice for gender-based crimes, in women’s underrepresentation in politics and peace-processes and in the huge barriers that women face in accessing quality education. We also see – and celebrate – the extraordinary work being undertaken by women all over the world to tackle inequality and human rights violations affecting women, girls and wider communities.

For International Women’s Day 2015, we are running a blog series exploring gender issues and women’s empowerment across the eight countries where HART works.

What’s Coming Up?

We will cover a different topic each day in the week preceding IWD 2015. Watch this space for blogs about:

– Gendering Conflict: Traditionally, matters of conflict and security and gender issues have been firmly relegated to different spheres. However, there is growing recognition of the distinct ways in which conflict can affect women and girls. Jack Lindsay explains the significance of the gender-conflict relationship.

– Sexual violence: According to Major-General Patrick Cammaert, former commander of UN peacekeeping forces in the eastern Congo, “It has probably become more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier in armed conflict.” Samantha Hudson and Alice Robinson ask why.

– The role of women in peace-building: 

– Women’s political participation: Women represent half of the world’s population yet only 21.9% of parliamentarians worldwide are women. Why is this so? And what can be done to end underrepresentation of women in politics?

– Media representations of women in power: Creating an environment of respect and gender equality is a responsibility that falls onto society as a whole. The media plays an essential role in the creation of this mutually beneficial environment. Ivaylo Hristev explores how media representations of women in power have pushed forward gender equality agendas.

– Women’s organisations and civil society: Despite conflict and oppression, women in Burma are active leaders in a thriving civil society. Anna Cox explores their inspirational work, and the the potential for greater empowerment of women through local programs and training.

– Education: With the deadline for achieving MDGs due to end this year, how much progress has been made in getting girls into school and achieving universal education, and what barriers remain in place?

How can you get involved?

The theme of International Women’s Day 2015 is #makeithappen. We will be showing the ways in which women around the world are making positive change happen for their communities, often in the face of immense challenges. Each blog post will explain how you can help to #makeithappen and be a force for change.

Find out more about International Women’s Day here.

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