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International Women’s Day: Advancing Gender Equality

An International Women's Day celebration in Santiago, Chile. (AP Photo)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

March 8, 2013 marks 102 years of International Women’s Day (IWD), dedicated to the advocacy of gender equality and women’s social, political, and economic empowerment. First recognized in 1911, IWD began at a time when the right for women to work, vote, and hold public office was being pushed by grassroots women’s organizations around the world. Today, more than 1,000 events take place worldwide in IWD’s honor. Below is a brief list of domestic and international events occurring in March, designated by the United States as Women’s History Month. More information can be found here.

1. What: On March 4 the United Nations will commence the fifty-seventh annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). The theme of this year’s two-week session is the “elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls.” Learn more about the CSW here, or follow the event on Facebook and Twitter.
Where: United Nations, New York, NY
When: March 4-15, 2013

2. What: Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice founded the Secretary’s International Women of Courage Award in 2007. Since its inception, the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI) has continued the event in honor of IWD. Award recipients “have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for women’s rights and advancement.” Read the S/GWI blog, follow the office on Twitter, or become a fan of its Facebook page.
Where: U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC
When: Friday, March 8, 2013

3. What: Cartier is in the first phase of its annual entrepreneurial contest, the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards. Founded in 2006, this competition was created as a joint effort “by Cartier, the Women’s Forum, McKinsey & Company and INSEAD business school to identify, support and encourage projects by women entrepreneurs.” Finalists will develop their business plans while receiving funding and coaching before presenting their projects in front of a jury in October. Learn more and apply here; the deadlines coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8. You can also follow the process on Twitter.
Where: Worldwide
When: March – October 2013

4. What: Women’s Empowerment International (WE) will discuss microfinance opportunities and “honor economic achievements of low-income women” in the Bay area of California and beyond. Participants can meet with past loan recipients and learn about different business services. WE representatives will answer questions from attendees and share developments on the organization’s partnerships in Ghana, Honduras, and Mexico. This event is free and open to the public. Stay up to date with the WE Twitter and Facebook pages.
Where: The Jacobs Center 404 Euclid Ave, San Diego, CA
When: Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 1:00-3:00pm

5. What: For those who wish to extend IWD into a 10-day international affair, the United Nations Information Centre in Panama City provides an opportunity for university students to explore the role of women in leadership with the Women as Change Agents program. By partaking in workshops and cultural excursions, participants will analyze the obstacles that women face as they seek to effect change. Find more information about the program and apply here.
Where: Panama City, Panama
When: March 7-17, 2013