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This year’s International Women’s Day will emphasize economic, political and social empowerment of women.

IWD takes place March 8. The annual event celebrates women’s achievements throughout history and around the globe. Several religious organizations plan activities. This includes leadership scholarship programs, worship services, prayer days and other events.

In 1910, the event took place in major cities of industrialized nations, bringing attention to the changing role of women at work and home.

At that time, organizers from The Socialist International set aside March 8 to demand several specific rights: women’s suffrage, hold public office, job equality, vocational training and an end to workplace gender discrimination.

United Nations Women will emphasize rural and urban activism among and for women this year. This year’s observance “comes on the heels of unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice,” according to a prepared statement from UN Women.

In particular, UN Women notes that outcry over sexual harassment, violence and discrimination against women has gained momentum across the globe, marches in Argentina under the banner “Nia Una Menos” (“Not One Less”) and the global social media campaign #MeToo, with its counterparts #QuellaVoltaChe (Italian), #Ana_kaman (Arabic) and #YoTambien among Spanish-speakers.

At its annual Commission on the Status of Women, the United Nations Economic and Social Council examines the state of gender equality and empowerment of women.

According to the group, women hold less than one-quarter of political leadership positions in the world. Of the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, only 4 percent are women. Worldwide, female workers comprise nearly 62 percent of the service sector, less than 14 percent of industrial jobs and 25 percent of agricultural positions.

Women’s Day is about addressing these and other disparities., the official event site, uses the social media hashtag #PressforProgress. According to IWD organiz

Inspiration for 2018 IWD activities includes a quote from trailblazing journalist Gloria Steinem: “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”

Celebrations will take place in cities all over the world and will include conferences, festivals, concerts, corporate gatherings and web events. To search for an event by location or add your own, go to

Golden writes The Courier’s weekly faith and values column. Email her at


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