International Women's Day 2012

Each year around the world, International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. Thousands of events occur not just on this day but throughout the year to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.

The first Women's Day was initiated on the last Sunday in February of 1908,

when women who considered themselves socialists held large demonstrations aimed at calling attention to women's voting rights and welfare. In 1909, a Women's Day rally was held in Manhattan and was attended by 2,000 people. In 1910, this movement spread throughout the country.

This date is also commemorated at the United Nations and is designated in many countries as a national holiday. Organizations, governments, charities and women's groups around the world choose different themes each year that reflect global and local gender issues, such as the United Nations declares an overall International Women's Day theme, and their 2012 theme is “Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty”.

The Rural households headed by women are among the most vulnerable of the world’s 1.4 billion people living in extreme poverty in developing countries. Women constitute 60 percent of people suffering from chronic hunger worldwide.

Rural women face some of the highest rates of educational poverty in the world. UNESCO estimates that about 80 percent of the 67 million children out of school live in rural areas, the majority of whom are girls. Improving education for women and girls in rural areas is a central issue both for achieving gender equality and for poverty eradication.

In this occasion we must mention to their important role played in the Arab revolutions, as the streets of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria and Yemen were crowded with the presence of women for months against the authoritarian regimes.

Despite successes in empowering women , there are numerous of problems still exist in their life ranging from the cultural , political to the economic , for example women often work more than men and yet are paid less , gender discrimination affects them throughout their lifetime , and they often suffer from poverty .

Afro Asian People’s Solidarity Organization AAPSO will continue to support the hopes and dreams of women worldwide on International Women’s Day this March 8th 2012, as it is a time to honor women and raise awareness about the obstacles they face around the world, and to encourage equality and safety for all women and girls, and the opportunity to share in a rewarding and successful future.