Arab Press

بالشعب و للشعب
Saturday, Apr 20, 2024

Women March To Defend Rights Across Globe Mark Women's Day

Women March To Defend Rights Across Globe Mark Women's Day

With the Taliban government's banning of women from universities in Afghanistan, Iran's repression of the Mahsa Amini protests, new US restrictions on abortion rights and the Ukraine war's impact on women, there are many reasons to protest.
Women were taking to the streets from Kabul to Bangkok on Wednesday to mark International Women's Day and defend rights that are coming under increasing attack.

With the Taliban government's banning of women from universities in Afghanistan, Iran's repression of the Mahsa Amini protests, new US restrictions on abortion rights and the Ukraine war's impact on women, there are many reasons to protest.

In Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, which the UN called the "most repressive country in the world" for women's rights, AFP saw around 20 women holding a rare protest in the capital Kabul.

Thousands of women also took part in rallies across Pakistan, despite efforts by authorities to block them.

Rabail Akhtar, a schoolteacher who joined a crowd of around 2,000 in Lahore, said she was marching to "demand the security and safety that women are not afforded in this country and society."

"Why are they so afraid of women demanding their rights?" Soheila Afzal, a graphic designer also at the marched, asked, referring to Pakistani authorities.

Marches also took place in Thailand and Indonesia, where a few dozen women gathered in front of the country's parliament to urge lawmakers to pass a long-awaited bill to protect domestic workers and some chanted "long live Indonesian women".

In Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky praised women for taking a central role in defending their country against Russia's invasion.

He thanked "all women who work, teach, study, rescue, heal, fight -- fight for Ukraine."

To mark International Women's Day, capitals across the world are hosting marches, rallies and demonstrations, including Madrid, where broad tree-lined boulevards are regularly packed with a sea of purple, a colour often associated with women's rights.

Global progress on women's rights is "vanishing before our eyes," UN chief Antonio Guterres warned on Monday, saying gender equality would take another three centuries to achieve.

"Women's rights are being abused, threatened, and violated around the world," he added, pointing to Afghanistan, where "women and girls have been erased from public life".

Afghan universities reopened on Monday after a winter break, but only men returned to classes with the Taliban authorities' ban on women in higher education still in force some 18 months after they seized power.

On the eve of International Women's Day, the European Union imposed sanctions on individuals and entities deemed to be responsible for violence and rights abuses against women.

The Taliban's higher education minister Neda Mohammad Nadeem was sanctioned for depriving women from university learning.

The sanctions also targeted officials from five other countries -- Iran, Russia, South Sudan, Myanmar and Syria.

Mobilising over abortion rights

In Europe, marches will take place in many countries, including France, where demonstrators will demand "equality both at work and in life" in around 150 towns and cities, a far higher number than in previous years, organisers say.

The protests will focus on the fight against France's deeply-unpopular pension reform which critics say is unfair to women.

In London, the Madame Tussauds museum will mark the day by unveiling a new waxwork of suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, who began an intense struggle 120 years ago that won women's right to vote.

Elsewhere, demonstrations have been banned.

In Pakistan, where marches are criticised for promoting liberal Western values and for not respecting religious and cultural sensitivities, organisers have had to fight multiple court challenges to press ahead with demonstrations.

And in communist-run Cuba, activists seeking permission to demonstrate were arrested earlier this year, with feminist organisations instead urging people to join a "virtual march" on social media to raise awareness about gender violence and femicides.

Wednesday will see feminists mobilising in particular over abortion rights following the US Supreme Court's decision in June to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that had guaranteed a woman's constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy.

In Europe, that right has also been undermined recently in Hungary and Poland.

"We are fighting against a patriarchy... that fights ad nauseam against rights -- such as the right to abortion -- that we have won through struggle," read the manifesto of the Madrid march, which is set to begin at 1800 GMT.
Newsletter

Related Articles

Arab Press
0:00
0:00
Close
China Criticizes US for Vetoing UN Ceasefire Resolution in Gaza
Saudi Arabia ranks first in UN index for e-government services in MENA
Israel Records 20% Drop In GDP, War In Gaza Is The Reason
Saudi Arabia's FDI Inflows Grow with New International Standards
Venture Capitals Power Up Across MENA Region
PM Modi Announces Opening Of New CBSE Office In Dubai
January Funding for MENA Startups Totals $86.5 Million
Saudi Arabia accelerates digital economy growth through Nvidia partnership
Israel unveils tunnels underneath Gaza City headquarters of UN agency for Palestinian refugees
Israel deploys new military AI in Gaza war
Egypt threatens to suspend key peace treaty if Israel pushes into Gaza border town, officials say
Saudi Arabia Warns Of A "Humanitarian Catastrophe" If Israel Moves On Rafah
US University To Shut Qatar Campus Due To "Heightened Mideast Instability"
Facebook and Instagram Ban Iran's Supreme Leader
Defense Technology Showcase Held in Riyadh
Saudi Arabia’s non-oil exports rise 2.5% to $6bn in November 2023: GASTAT
Rolls-Royce Executive Encourages Saudi Women to Tap into Their Inner 'Superhero' for Success in Defense Industry
Saudi Arabia launches National Academy of Vehicles and Cars
Saudi Tourism Minister Reveals Plan for 250,000 New Hotel Rooms by 2030
SAR to more than double eastern network passenger capacity with new trains deal
Saudi Arabia Enhances National Defense with New Partnerships
Saudi Aramco Maintains Arab Light Crude Pricing to Asia for March
NEOM Establishes New York Office to Support Investors
Saudi Wealth Fund Draws in Over $25 Billion Worth of Investments in Three Years, Al-Rumayyan Reveals
The Saudi Kingdom's Ultimatum to Israel: A Win-Win Peace with Saudi Arabia and the Arab World, or a Lose-Lose Continued Occupation and Endless Conflict
Biden condemns anti-Arab hate after WSJ opinion piece calls Dearborn ‘jihad capital’
Turkey Releases Seven Hostages Captured by Pro-Gaza Gunman
Arab Parliament Commends Women's Contributions to Societal Development
British and Hungarian Foreign Ministers visited Lebanese leaders to stress the importance of enacting UN Resolution 1701
Yemen's Houthis Say They Targeted British Merchant Vessel In Red Sea
Donald Trump Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize for 'Historic' Middle East Policy
US lawmakers approve F-16 jet sale to Turkey following NATO expansion support
Saudi Arabia Climbs 25 Places in World Bank's National Statistics Indicator
Tourism Growth in Saudi Arabia Fuels Advancements in the Hospitality Industry," Says Rotana Official
Houthi Rebels Request Departure of UN Staff from Yemen, Including US and UK Personnel, within a Month
Modi Inaugurates Hindu Temple on Site of Demolished Mosque in India
Over 25,000 Deaths in Gaza Amid Israeli Offensive
Escalating Clashes in Gaza as Israel Distributes Leaflets to Assist in Locating Hostages
Turkey's First Astronaut Set to Launch for International Space Station Today
Head of Palestinian Investment Fund Warns More People May Die of Hunger Than War in Gaza
Palestinian Envoy Criticizes UK for Alleged 'Double Standards' in Policies Toward Israel
Morocco to Lead UN Human Rights Council in 2024
Is artificial intelligence the solution to cyber security threats?
Egypt has been identified as the leading military force among Arab nations and ranks 15th globally
The AI Revolution in the Workforce: CEOs at Davos Predict Major Job Cuts in 2024
Iranian Nobel Laureate Narges Mohammadi Receives Additional Prison Sentence
"Gazans Urge Israeli Forces to Target Hamas in Leaked Audio"
Biden States US and UK Airstrikes on Houthis Were a 'Defensive Action
Large Pro-Palestine Rally in London as Gaza Conflict Hits Day 100
South Africa Urges World Court to Halt Israeli Actions in Gaza
×