International Women’s Day: what happened

18/03/2011 Comments Off on International Women’s Day: what happened

I want to acknowledge the many demonstrations that took place on International Women’s Day last week around the world, which were reported after my last blog. That includes:

i) a brave women’s demonstration in Côte d’Ivoire commemorating the killing of seven people the week before by voted-down president Gbagbo’s troops. Those seven were themselves marching to call on Gbagbo to stand down after he lost the recent election.

ii) the Million Women march in Cairo, calling for amendments to the constitution because it doesn’t give women the right to run for presidential elections, and there are still no equal rights for women in Egypt. The march ended in violence but it also led to a new federation for women being formed, to ensure that women are involved and represented in policymaking in the new Egypt.

iii) On March 12, 2011, 250 Palestinian & Israeli Women human rights defenders marked the centenary of International Women’s Day with a historic conference in the West Bank on Civil Disobedience.

Amnesty International today called on the Iranian authorities to release immediately all women detained arbitrarily in Iran, including political activists, rights defenders and members of religious and ethnic minorities. Highlighting the cases of nine women prisoners of conscience submitted to the UN Commission on the Status of Women in August 2010 under its communications procedure and published today as a ten-page document, the organization deplored that despite the calls for their release or for charges against them to be dropped, Hengameh Shahidi, Shiva Nazar Ahari, Alieh Aghdam-Doust, Ronak Safazadeh, Zeynab Beyezidi, Mahboubeh Karami, Behareh Hedayat, Ma’soumeh Ka’bi, and Rozita Vaseghi are all either imprisoned or facing imminent imprisonment…”

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