Many women across the world celebrated Women’s Day in an extraordinary way, by holding protests.
Women from countries throughout the Middle East such as Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey headed to the streets to voice their opinions on matters such as domestic violence and Islamic Law.
The UN launched a new initiative against sexism that encourages men to become advocates for the cause in honour of the women in their lives. The campaign titled “He for She”, attempts to bring the inequalities faced by women every day to the frontlines while simultaneously encouraging men to stand up against these injustices.
At the launch UN Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, said, “Throughout the world, discrimination against women and girls is rampant, and in some cases getting worse. But we also know equality for women is progress for all.”
The Secretary General continued to explain that although the world has taken strides to end gender inequality, a girl born today will face some sort of gender discrimination in her lifetime, regardless of which country she is raised in.
Although many are suspended in the belief that gender inequality is something that occurs outside their home countries, the truth is that women are discriminated against all over the planet.
The Guardian newspaper released a report that highlights domestic violence in Britain. Almost 11,000 women in the country are at risk of becoming victims of domestic violence and the report says that most of these women have a high probability of severe injury and even death.
The information was collected from police forces across the country.
Another report published by IBTimes highlights that the worst places in the world to live in as a woman are Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Yemen and Nepal.
Women in Afghanistan are faced with a plight of illiteracy and are denied access to education. Arranged marriages and ‘honour killings’ are also prevalent.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is known for its mistreatment of women. The country is notorious for crimes of sexual violence against women as well as a law that does not defend their rights. Genital mutilation is also a common practice and is not banned by law.
Iraqi women are legally allowed to be killed by male members of their family if she has compromised their honour. In addition, a large number of women in the country still hold the belief that is it permissible for a man to beat his wife when he deems it necessary.
The women of Yemen face horrible injustice on a daily basis in all contexts of society. It is not uncommon for a middle aged man to marry a pre-pubescent girl. In addition, there is a very high percentage of illiteracy in the nation.
In Nepal, as many as 7, 000 women are being sold into slavery each year. A total of 200,000 Nepalese women are working in brothels in India after being illegally trafficked.
In addition, believers of the Hindu faith practice an old custom that expels women into stables or barns when they are menstruating as it is believed that they are impure. The same treatment is given to women who have just given birth.
It is clear from this information that although the world has made considerable progress in the last 50 years, there is still a very long way to go before true gender equality is reached.