How Women Are Marking March 8

There are International Women's Day celebrations and protests alike
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 8, 2023 12:26 PM CST
How Women Are Marking March 8
A woman chant slogans during the International Women's Day celebration at the Mobolaji Johnson Stadium in Lagos, Nigeria, on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

March 8 has been set aside by the United Nations as International Women's Day since 1977, and 46 years later, the AP reports that it appears to be holding strong. This year, women around the globe are variously noting advances, setbacks, and repression. Here, a look in words and photos at celebrations, talks, artistic events, and demonstrations:

  • The United Nations identified Afghanistan as the most repressive country in the world for women and girls since the Taliban takeover in 2021. The UN mission said Afghanistan's new rulers were "imposing rules that leave most women and girls effectively trapped in their homes."
  • In Pakistan, women gathered in major cities to march amid tight security. Organizers said the demonstrations were aimed at seeking rights guaranteed by the constitution. Some conservative groups last year threatened to stop similar marches by force.

  • At the Vatican, Pope Francis thanked women "for their commitment to building a more humane society, through their ability to grasp reality with a creative eye and a tender heart." The AP notes he has increased the number of women on the church's payroll by about 4% in his 10 years—except for those key clergy jobs.
  • In Spain, more than 1 million people were expected to attend evening demonstrations in Madrid, Barcelona, and other cities. Although Spain has for years produced one of the world's biggest turnouts on March 8, this year's marches are marked by a division within its own left-wing government over a sexual liberty law that has inadvertently led to the reduction of sentences for sexual offenders.
  • In Russia, President Vladimir Putin gave awards to women during a Kremlin ceremony to mark International Women's Day, which is celebrated as a national holiday. He singled out a military paramedic and a journalist for fulfilling their duties in the area of the Ukraine fighting. "There are no fields and professions in our country where women haven't scored serious, remarkable results," Putin said.

  • In the Philippines, hundreds of protesters rallied in Manila for higher wages and decent jobs. "We are seeing the widest gender pay gap," protest leader Joms Salvador said. "We are seeing an unprecedented increase in the number of women workers who are in informal work without any protection."
  • In Ireland, the government announced that it will hold a referendum in November to enshrine gender equality and remove discriminatory language in the country's constitution. Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said people will be asked to vote on a series of amendments to the constitution—including removing an "outmoded" reference to women's place being in the home.
  • In Japan, women's rights activists held a small rally to renew their demand for the government to allow married couples to keep using different surnames. Under the 1898 civil code, a couple must adopt "the surname of the husband or wife" at the time of marriage.
  • Hundreds of Kosovar Albanian women held a protest in its capital against domestic violence, throwing black-and-red smoke bombs at the police headquarters. "We march, do not celebrate," was their main slogan.
(More International Women's Day stories.)

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