Global protests underway to mark the day of action
Activists across the world have united for International Women’s day with global strike action and protests taking place to mark the event.
This year the movement is deliberately creating headline-grabbing events in a bid to highlight the daily inequality women face.
The theme this year is #BeBoldForChange. “Call on the masses or call on yourself to help forge a better working world - a more gender inclusive world,” the event’s website proclaims.
It adds: “Each one of us - with women, men and non-binary people joining forces - can be a leader within our own spheres of influence by taking bold pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity."
And campaigners are using the day to build on momentum seen during global anti-Trump demonstrations to emphasise the fact women’s human rights are being eroded more than ever.
An International Women’s Strike joins with an International Women’s March to highlight the plight low paid women workers face especially in countries with developing economies.
Over 200 countries will take part as strikers are encouraged to boycott what campaigners are calling the “global conspiracy against women”, to stop shopping, go on sex strike, block roads and streets, and take part in marches or pickets.
Through purposeful collaboration, we can help women advance and unleash the limitless potential - Tithi Bhattacharya
Inspiration for the action comes from Iceland where, last year, thousands of female employees walked out of workplaces to protest against earning less than men.
In the UK the “one day without a woman” mobilisation will urge women to refrain from labour. In London, there will be a protest outside the family court in Holborn at 9.45am, followed by a “speak out” outside parliament, said Nina Lopez, a coordinator for the International Women’s Strike.
In America local demonstrations across the country have been organised, while major gatherings of strikers are expected in Chicago and Washington DC.
Tithi Bhattacharya, an associate professor at Purdue University, who is one of the orgnsers for the day, said: “We have the sense that people will spontaneously make a call for demonstrations in their town.
“I think the most exciting thing about 8 March is the way it’s being interpreted in diverse ways by different groups.
"Through purposeful collaboration, we can help women advance and unleash the limitless potential offered to economies the world over," she said.
International Women’s Day moved to 8 March in 1913, and was recognised by the United Nations – which now decrees an annual theme – in 1975.
The original aim – to achieve full gender equality for women the world – has still not been realised.
A gender pay gap persists across the globe and women are still not present in equal numbers in business or politics. Figures show that globally, women’s education, health and violence towards women is still worse than that of men.
According to the World Economic Forum, the gender gap won't close until 2186.