women’s day demonstrators rally for rights, with special emphasis on iran and afghanistan
Numerous countries across the world saw rallies marking International Women’s Day on Wednesday with a special emphasis on Iran, which has recently seen widespread protests on women’s rights, and Afghanistan, where girls are denied the basic right to education.
In the Americas, reproductive rights and urgent action on high rates of unsolved killings of women and girls were under the spotlight. It comes amid tight restrictions on abortion in much of Latin America and following the overturning of the landmark Roe v. Wade US abortion ruling last year.
While protesters in Paris demanded better pensions for women who work part-time, scores of demonstrators in Tel Aviv formed human chains to raise concerns over a judicial overhaul that they fear will affect civil liberties.
Nevertheless, the issues concerning women in Iran and Afghanistan took the centre stage in the majority of protests across the world. In London, hundreds of protesters marched to the Iranian embassy in costumes inspired by ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, while in Valencia, a number of women expressed their support for Iranian women by cutting their hair.
As Washington marked International Women’s Day, the US imposed sanctions on a couple of senior Iranian prison officials it accused of being responsible for serious rights abuses against women and girls.
Britain also announced a number of sanctions the same day against what it described as ‘global violators of women’s rights’ based in South Sudan, Syria, Iran, and the Central African Republic.
Wednesday also saw numerous governments making pledges or announcing domestic legislative changes. While Canada repealed the historic indecency and anti-abortion laws, Georgia Meloni – Italy’s first female prime minister – announced state-controlled companies should have a minimum of one leader who is a woman.
International Women’s Day is one of the most celebrated public holidays in Russia. On Wednesday, the head of its upper house of parliament launched a vehement attack on LGBT lifestyles.