International Women’s Day – gender justice guide

International Women’s Day

Gender Justice Guide

March 8th, 2011, International Women’s Day, celebrates the 100th Anniversary of promoting women’s rights, women’s empowerment and gender equality. This celebration provides an opportunity to increase public awareness of the links between gender inequality, poverty and the need for fundamental systemic change.

International Women’s Day is observed in nearly every country around the world, with a focus on events large and small which remind communities and leaders that gender inequality exists across the world, and which challenge political leaders to enact progressive policies promoting gender equality and women’s rights.

Led by the Feminist Task Force (FTF) of the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP), March 8th marks the first global day of mobilization of the year for GCAP.  Since 2006, GCAP has incorporated “Women’s Rights & Gender Justice” as one of its seven core areas of work.  The work of the Feminist Task Force is to ensure that gender justice and women’s rights as central to poverty eradication.  By focusing on International Women’s Day as the first global day of mobilization, we lay the foundation and set the vision for carrying out the work for the rest of the year.

This IWD tool kit has been prepared to serve as a guide to assist in raising awareness, taking action and creating visibility around March 8th on gender justice and women’s empowerment.  Links have been incorporated into the e- version to assist in providing further information.

This IWD kit contains the following information:

  • Themes for IWD
  • Actions for IWD
    • Feminist Task Force e-Camp@ign100 Days 100 Ways” on UN Women – providing input into the formulation of the UN Women and its strategic plan within the first 100 days.
  • Resources
  • Facts on gender
  • Contact information

Every year different institutions and organizations select different themes for International Women’s Day.  This year, the FTF has selected to focus on “UN Women, the new  United Nations entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women” – the first one hundred days, and the 100 Days→100 Ways e-camp@ign.

The new UN entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women began operating on January 1, 2011. and is currently in its first 100 days of operation.  The official launch of UN Women, which took place on Thursday, February 24th, at the UN during the CSW.

UN Women:  The UN General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, last July 2, 2010.  UN Women overhauled its four women’s rights programmes, DAW, INSTRAW, OSAGI, and UNIFEM, into one office to promote  women’s rights and gender equality.    On September 14, 2010,  UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Dr. Michelle Bachelet, the former President of Chile, as UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women.

Ms. Bachelet has announced that UN Women is developing its strategic plan within the first 100 days.   She has requested input from civil society, women’s groups and networks to this strategic plan.

The Focus Areas of UN Women coincide with the work of the FTF, GCAP and partners.  These areas are:

Violence Against Women Peace and Security Leadership and Participation Economic Empowerment National Planning and Budgeting Human Rights MDGs

With cross-cutting issues of:  HIV/AIDS and Climate Change.

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day and the first 100 days of the new United Nations women’s entity, UN Women, the Feminist Task Force will be collecting contributions from around the world on how the UN Women can better serve women, better serve the underserved to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment.  March 8th will be a Day of Action to highlight the e-camp@ign.

We are collecting inputs through the 100 Days 100 Ways e-camp@ign blogspot:

•          How to provide comments to the 100 Days → 100 Ways for UN Women e-camp@ign:•          Go to

•          Sign in using your own e-mail—click on top right hand corner to “sign in.”

•          Next, scroll to the bottom of page where it says “Posted by Feminist Task Force.”

•          Click on the word: comments at the bottom of the page.

•          Write your entry or have it ready to clip and paste in this section.

•          Add your name, title, organization, affiliation to the FTF/GCAP, country—whatever you want just don’t forget to add your name!

•          You can preview your entry or just click Post Comment   Done!

Please make your entries brief! One introductory paragraph and one recommendation per entry. If you have more recommendations to UN Women, then make another entry. Please do not write a whole page! UN Women are interested in reading your recommendations, but not your novel! They want ideas! They want to hear from the grassroots! They want to hear innovative inputs for how to do the work of UN Women.

Whether you are organizing a March 8th activity or not, it is vital to stand in solidarity with women and promote International Women’s Day and the importance of gender equality on March 8th.

  • Promote IWD by posting a message on your website, blog or Facebook page.
  • Send Twitter messages announcing your support for women’s rights and women’s empowerment.
  • Advertise the IWD logo and support the work of partner women’s organizations.
  • Provide input into the strategic report of UN Women and let them know what your vision is for a more equitable world for women and men.

Promote your International Women’s Day activities.

Stay connected and tell us about your IWD activity:



Stay connected and tell us about your IWD activity:

e-mail us:

UN and UN Women

The GEAR Campaign
The Global Gender Equality Architecture Reform (GEAR) Campaign, a network of over 300 women’s, human rights and social justice organizations around the world, has been advocating for the creation of UN Women for five years. Now GEAR begins to monitor how the UN Women implements promises it has made and ensure that civil society participation is formalized and the women’s rights groups are consulted about the program and future of UN Women.  The GEAR Campaign transitional toolkit was developed to learn more about the GEAR Campaign and the process in creating UN Women. The FTF and GCAP are GEAR members.

The GEAR Campaign Transitional Toolkit for Civil Society Organizations
Available in: Arabic, English, French, and Spanish.

International Women’s Day 2011 takes place at a time when the consequences of the multiple global crises, ranging from the financial and economic to the food, fuel, climate change and maternal mortality crises, are strongly felt. In addition, resource commitments to the achievement of the MDGS have not only been set back, but the MDGs themselves, and in particular those related to gender equality, are far off track.  An estimated 1.4 billion people continute to live in poverty – the majority of whom are women and girls.  2011 represents a key opportunity to strengthen our movement and to impact not only on the UN Women agenda, but the larger global development agenda.

For more information, contact any of the Feminist Task Force regional and FTF Facilitation Team representatives:

Feminist Task Force Global Coordinator – Rosa Lizarde – and Alternate Coordinator, Marcela Ballara

Arab region: Josephine Kamel, Egypt

Arab region: Josephine Kamel, Egypt

Asia:  Sharmila Karki, Nepal; Rehana Khilji, Pakistan

Europe:  Luisa Cruz Hefti, Switzerland

North America:  Diana Salas, United States of America

Global Secretariat:  Ana Agostino, FTF Ambassador, ICAE, Montevideo, Uruguay

Visit our blogspot:

Sign-up to our list serves in English or Spanish:  email Ana Agostino

Created by Feminist Task Force

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