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International Women's Day 2013 Observed in 15 Nations


International Women's Day was celebrated around the world on March 8, honoring accomplishments and taking stock of challenges. The theme for 2013 was "Time for action to end violence against women." In his message for the day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, "There is one universal truth, applicable to all countries, cultures and communities: Violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable."

UPF chapters in Afghanistan, Austria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Estonia, Germany, Nepal, Nigeria, Peru, Russia, Suriname, UK, and US organized events commemorating International Women's Day 2013.

The Senate Hall of the Peruvian Congress was the site of a Women's Day celebration in Lima. Guest speakers included Sra. María Eugenia Mujica, from UN Women, and Lic. Nancy Tolentino, from Peru's Ministry of Women. In London, a Member of the British Parliament hosted a forum in the House of Commons that featured women activists as well as three Baronesses -- Sandip Verma, Oona King, and Meral Hussein-Ece -- talking about protecting women's rights in India, D.R. Congo and Turkey. A program in Paramaribo, Suriname, about addressing domestic violence featured expert speakers: Mr. C. Rasam, a head prosecutor, and Mrs. A Naipal, a coordinator of a program assisting those who have been abused.

Women in Stuttgart, Germany, shared thoughts about their role models as women of peace, and in Tallinn, Estonia, women met to explore ways they can uniquely contribute to a more just and healthy society.

Themes of additional events included "The Prevention of Violence against Women and Femicide" (at the UN's International Center in Vienna, Austria); "Women Standing Up to Violence: Finding Ways through with Hope and Connections" (Toronto, Canada); "Woman and Child Trafficking: A Modern Day Slavery?" (part of a program in Abuja, Nigeria in observance of the UN Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims); and "The Era of Women: Leadership, Ownership and Compassion" (Washington DC, USA).

"On International Women's Day and every day, let us go forward with courage, conviction and commitment, with the message that women's issues are global issues that deserve urgent priority," said UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet.

International Women's Day 2013 from Universal Peace Federation International



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