The first edition of Women's Day took place in 1911, in Germany, Austria, Denmark and Switzerland, and has extended its commemoration since then to many other countries. In 1977, the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed March 8 as International Women's Day, which aims to raise awareness in society at large about the serious problems faced by women, and to promote equality of rights and opportunities.
Up to 70% of women around the world claim to have suffered a form of physical or sexual violence at some point in their lives. Of these, half of them are children under the age of 16, according to UN data. Globally, 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not considered a crime. Due to these unacceptable statistics, the international community is strongly committed to changing the situation for women. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) requires signatories to take all necessary measures to end the violence. As part of this commitment and the search for greater social awareness about this issue, the 2013 theme for International Women’s Day is 'A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women'.
“The welfare of all victims of sexual violence in conflict must be at the forefront of our activities. And I instruct my senior advisors to make our response to sexual violence a priority in all of our peace-making, peacekeeping and peace-building activities,” stated Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon.
Diagrama Foundation echoes this day as part of its work in the defense and promotion of equality of women and men through the development of various awareness and intervention programmes in this area, as part of its cooperation and development mission.
For more information on this day, please visit the UN’s website, its Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, and the Secretary-General's campaign ‘UniTE to end violence against women'.