Today is International Women's Day, marked by women's groups around the globe and commemorated at the United Nations as a national holiday. Women on all continents, divided by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate women's equality and the peace the feminine embodies. Representing at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development, it is rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men.
International Women's Day honors the story of ordinary women as makers of history; it is rooted in the ancient struggle of women to participate in society on an equal par with men. In ancient Greece, Lysistrata initiated a sexual strike against men in order to end war; during the French Revolution, Parisian women marched on Versailles to demand women's suffrage; in the US Dorothy Day was among the leaders of women's suffrage who also worked to provide food and shelter for the homeless.
The United Nations has promoted few causes generating more intense and widespread support than the campaign to support and protect equal rights of women. The Charter of the United Nations, signed in San Francisco in 1945, was the first international agreement to declare gender equality as a fundamental human right. The UN has helped create a legacy of internationally accepted strategies, standards, programs and goals to advance the status of women worldwide.
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The United Nations action for the advancement of women has taken four clear directions: promotion of legal measures; mobilization of public opinion and international action; direct assistance to disadvantaged groups; training and research. The UN is responsible for fostering the principle that no enduring solution to society's most threatening economic, social, and political problems can be found without the full participation and full empowerment of the women of the world.
Today we have Code Pink, formed in the US on November, 2002 with a 4 month all day vigil in front of the White house, inspiring people from all walks of life and from all over the country to stand for peace. This vigil culminated on March 8, International Women's Day, joining global peacemakers who share the mission of saying No to War.