International Women’s Day dedicated to Women of « Arab Spring »!

Today is International Women’s Day!  Is it really supposed to be a celebration? Or should we be appalled that there is still a special day to fight for equality between genders and women’s rights around the world?!

Whether we are for or we are against a day dedicated to women, it is still an occasion to look at the great achievements that accomplish women around the world! After one year of the Revolution’s beginning in the Arab World, it is highly important to recognize and pay homage to the courage and struggle of women in the Arab societies. Somehow, we could dedicate this 2012 International Women’s Day to all these women taking part in the Revolution and fighting day after day for their rights, dignity and freedom in the Arab World, to all these beautiful women who next to their fathers, brothers and husbands have been raising protests against inequality, lack of respect and dictatorship! People will manage to rise democracy if they fight all together hand in hand, women and men! It is satisfying to see the young Arab female protesting, far away from the idea that Western people have of the Arab woman as passive and oppressed human beings. Let us remind that the uprisings in Tunisia, Syria, Lybia, Bahrain would not have been possible withtout the participation of women. Moreover, Young women have been using and rising their voice through social media networks to be heard and to spread their message all over the world as Aliaa Elmahdy, the young Egyptian woman did last December. Among the striking Arab women, we remember Tawakkul Karman, this Yemeni activist, one of the three winners of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize.

The question today regarding the recent victory of the Islamist parties in Tunisia and Egypt (Egypt Election Victory for Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis / Moderate Islamist Party Heads Toward Victory in Tunisia) is: Have Arab women won rights and democracy over the last year or through these new regimes, will they lost the few rights they used to have ?

Here below is a talk of UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet who calls for women’s equal participation in all spheres of life as fundamental to democracy and justice.

A little bit of History (sources: History of International Women’s Day & International Women’s Day website), key dates:

1909: The first National Woman’s Day was observed in the United States on 28 February. The Socialist Party of America designated this day in honour of the 1908 garment workers’ strike in New York, where women protested against working conditions.

1945: The Charter of United Nations was the first international agreement to affirm the principle of equality between women and men. Since then, the UN has helped create a historic legacy of internationally-agreed strategies, standards, programmes and goals to advance the status of women worldwide.

1975: The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day on 8 March. Two years later, in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace. In adopting its resolution, the General Assembly recognized the role of women in peace efforts and development and urged an end to discrimination and an increase of support for women’s full and equal participation.

 A quick video about the History of International Women’s Day: