© Reuters. Demonstrators join a march calling for gender equality and protesting sexism to mark International Women’s Day on March 8, 2021 in Tokyo. REUTERS/Issei Kato
MANILA/MADRID (Reuters) – Protests were held around the world on Wednesday to mark International Women’s Day. It was the year Afghanistan banned girls from education, Iran erupted in mass women’s rights protests, and a landmark U.S. abortion ruling was overturned.
Demonstrations were held in Paris, Berlin, Beirut, Jakarta and Singapore. A rally was planned in another city.
In Manila, activists for equal rights and better wages brawled with police to block their protests.
“Girls just want to have fun…damental rights,” read one poster.
In Melbourne, demonstrators demand equal pay and improved safety for women. “Safe, Respect, Equality”, one of the banners hoisted at the march. An Iranian delegation was also present.
The protests have included calls for solidarity with women in Iran and Afghanistan, where women’s freedom has been hit particularly hard in the past year.
“Afghanistan under the Taliban remains the world’s most repressive country when it comes to women’s rights, and a systematic, planned and coordinated effort to remove Afghan women and girls from public life has continued. It’s hard to do it,” the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said in a statement marking the day.
The September death of 23-year-old Masa Amini in custody of Tehran’s moral police sparked the biggest anti-government demonstrations in Iran in years.
In recent days, Iran’s clerical rulers have faced renewed pressure, with public anger exacerbated by a wave of poisoning attacks affecting dozens of schoolgirls.
Abortion and reproductive rights came out Wednesday at an international rally, nine months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that recognized women’s constitutional right to abortion. was on the agenda.
Several Spanish cities, including Madrid and Barcelona, were scheduled to hold competing rallies for International Women’s Day, reflecting divisions within the feminist movement over transgender rights and the ban on prostitution.
cost of living crisis
In Colombo, a brawl erupted as riot police tried to stop protesters at a Women’s Day rally organized by the opposition.
Hundreds of people gathered to call on the Sri Lankan government to protect women’s rights and protest the high cost of living. Sri Lanka is suffering from a major economic crisis that has caused inflation to skyrocket.
One woman held up a placard that read, “Stop Exploiting Women Workers.”
Some governments made legislative changes or pledges on Wednesday.
Canada scrapped its historic obscenity and anti-abortion laws, Japan said it needed to do more to change attitudes on gender, and Ireland held a referendum in November to change the constitution from women to women. announced the removal of outdated references to
Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s first female prime minister, highlighted the role of women in the economy and said state-owned enterprises must have at least one female leader.
In Japan, which was ranked 116th out of 146 countries for gender equality in last year’s World Economic Forum World Report, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said progress had been made in improving working conditions for women. , said more needs to be done.
“The situation of women trying to juggle family and work responsibilities is very difficult and problematic in our country,” he said. “Countermeasures are still halfway through.”
In Russia, where International Women’s Day is one of the most famous holidays, the president of the Senate has used the occasion to launch a violent attack on sexual minorities and liberal values promoted by the West.
“Men and women are the biological, social and cultural backbone of the community,” writes Valentina Matvienko in a blog on the Federal Council website.
“Therefore, there is and will never be a dangerous gender game in our country. Let the West carry out this dangerous experiment.”
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