PORT LOKO, Sierra Leone - Fatmata Sesay was 15 years old when she became pregnant. Her parents forced her to move in with her boyfriend, who was neither in school nor employed. Moving in with him felt like an underage marriage, she says.
International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. Echoing the priority theme of the sixty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63), in 2019 we look to industry leaders, game-changing start-ups, social entrepreneurs, gender equality activists, and women innovators to examine the ways in which innovation can remove barriers and accelerate progress for gender equality, encourage investment in gender-responsive social systems, and build services and infrastructure that meet the needs of women and girls.
On the margins of the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women, a high-level side event on "Accelerating the elimination of harmful practices to reap the demographic dividend in Africa" convened Member States, civil society, youth and development partners to discuss decisive measures to eliminate child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) across the continent.
Abuja, 13 March 2019 - "In Northern Nigeria where I work as a nurse and polio vaccinator, only women are allowed to enter houses because most women in this part of the country are in purdah (practice of seclusion)", says Ramatu Garba of Dala Local Government in Kano State.
There has been a "serious regression" in the political power of women across the world in recent years, UN General Assembly President María Fernanda Espinosa told delegates to the annual summit of women activists at UN Headquarters in New York on Tuesday.
Women's representation in political decision-making continues to rise slowly, with slight improvements since 2017, according to the data presented in the 2019 edition of the biennial IPU-UN Women map of Women in Politics. The map was launched at a press conference during the Commission on the Status.
Around the world, women human rights defenders and women's rights activists fight for the rights and freedoms of women and all individuals, every day. In the course of their work to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, these activists face violence, discrimination and and intimidation.
On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, UN Video is pleased to send you a video message from the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. The video features the Secretary-General; Ms Amina J. Mohammed, the Deputy Secretary-General; Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the Executive Director of UN Women; Ms María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, the President of the General Assembly; and Ms Jayathma Wickramanayake, the Secretary-General's Youth Envoy.