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March 8 - International Women's Day

International Women’s Day precedes the formation of the United Nations.  It was celebrated for the first time in 1911 in different countries around Europe to demand  :

  • the right  for women to vote and the right to hold public office
  • the right  for women to work and to receive professional training
  • an end to discrimination against women in the workplace.

Beginning in 1913, women held peace rallies in many European cities to protest the forthcoming war. On March 8 (of the European calendar), 1917, Russian women went on strike to demand “bread and peace” in response to having lost nearly two million men in World War I. Four days later, the Tsar abdicated and the provisional government granted Russian women the right to vote.

In 1945, the United Nations Charter became the first international document to proclaim the equality between men and women as a fundamental human right.

Today, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 calls for the full inclusion of women at all decision-making levels in conflict resolution and peace processes.