Photos: International Women’s Day Celebrated with Pledge to End Violence against Women [PHOTOS]
By Simi John | Mar 09, 2013 12:02 AM EDT
International Women's Day (IWD) is being celebrated throughout the world, with this year's theme titled: "A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women".
IWD has been observed since the early 1900s and was established by Socialist International, in their meeting in Copenhagen in 1910. The next year, the first International Women's Day was observed in several countries, including Austria, Demark, Switzerland Germany, according to the International Women's Day Web site.
In 1977, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women's Rights. The United States allotted the whole month of March as Women's History Month. Countries like China (for women only), Cuba, Belarus, Cambodia, Afganistan, Ukraine have declared Women's Day a national holiday.
UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon released a statement on IWD, pointing to recent crimes against women all over the world and to urging all of humankind to "ask ourselves how to usher in a better future".
An excerpt from the statement reads:
"One young woman was gang-raped to death. Another committed suicide out of a sense of shame that should have attached to the perpetrators. Young teens were shot at close range for daring to seek an education. These atrocities, which rightly sparked global outrage, were part of a much larger problem that pervades virtually every society and every realm of life."
"This year on International Women's Day, we convert our outrage into action. We declare that we will prosecute crimes against women - and never allow women to be subjected to punishments for the abuses they have suffered. We renew our pledge to combat this global health menace wherever it may lurk - in homes and businesses, in war zones and placid countries, and in the minds of people who allow violence to continue."
Celebrities also joined in to celebrate the day and share their thoughts via Twitter.
"@oliviawilde Happy International Women's Day! Here's to the intelligence, resilience, and strength of women everywhere. http://www.halftheskymovement.org"
"@katewalsh woot RT @boyfriend: Happy International Women's Day! Hope you're spending it with your Billionaire @boyfriend"
"@Fergie Happy International Women's Day to all of my amazing, talented, strong sisters around the world!!!"
"@QueenRania Happy International Women's Day! Let us celebrate how far we have come and remember how much more we still have to offer #IWD"
"@lspraggan Happy International Women's Day. Just seen @BobbiBrown supporting #Dressforsucess with their #PrettyPowerful, nice!"
"@cesc4official Good morning to all but specially to all women that today is your day! Happy international women's day! #8thmarch #happy #friday"
"@TheRealLukevans Happy International Women's day! You are all truly phenomenal. Especially my Mam. ;-)"
"@JessicaCapshaw Happy International Women's Day! What woman or women are you most inspired by? Let's hear some shout outs for the ladies..."
"@MrSilverScott Happy International Women's Day! You're among my favorite people :)"
"@ginnygoodwin Happy International Women's Day! (I'm the luckiest lady alive... no offense.) @FaustinoDiBauda"
In the mean time, IBTimes UK invites you to photographs showing women across the world and in different professions and walks of life...
Venezuelan soldiers march during a military parade to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the failed coup attempt on President Hugo Chavez in Caracas February 4, 2012Source: Reuters Date:03/08/2013
A member of the local media records a fire at the Comayaguela market in Tegucigalpa February 18, 2012.Source: Reuters Date:03/08/2013
A migrant woman stands with her daughter and nephew outside their shelter on the outskirts of Moscow July 26 2011.Source: Reuters Date:03/08/2013
Participants pose on stage during the bodybuilding competition at the 4th All-China Games in Anhui Grand Theatre in Hefei, Anhui province, May 22, 2010.Source: Reuters Date:03/08/2013
A woman pulls on a fishing net line on Maungmagan beach near the town of Dawei in southern Myanmar November 19, 2011. Picture taken November 19, 2011.Source: Reuters Date:03/08/2013
Women queue inside a polling station during presidential elections in Al Hasaba neighborhood in Sanaa February 21, 2012.Source: Reuters Date:03/08/2013
A physically disabled woman on her wheelchair leads a march near Caracollo, some 170 km (106 miles) from La Paz, February 11, 2012.Source: Reuters Date:03/08/2013
Volunteers give treatment to dogs after rescuing them at a disused pig farm in Chongqing municipality, January 17, 2012.Source: Reuters Date:03/08/2013
DJ Wika Szmyt plays music at a club in Warsaw January 4, 2012. Szmyt, 73, spends her retirement days behind a DJ console watching people dance to her rhythms. She plays disco, rumba or samba for a mostly elderly audience because she feels she is giving them a new take at life. DJ Wika plays in a Warsaw club three days a week but has also been involved in other musical projects, including parties where she plays for a younger and more demanding audience.Source: Reuters Date:03/08/2013
An instructor from the Tianjiao Special Guard/Security Consultant Ltd. Co, smashes a bottle over a female recruit's head during a training session for China's first female bodyguards in Beijing January 13, 2012. According to the company, the training session consists of 20 women, mostly college graduates, who will undergo 8-10 months of training to develop sufficient skills to become security guards. The company will then offer the best trainee a chance to attend the International Security Academy in Israel.Source: Reuters Date:03/08/2013
Catholic nuns hold roses while waiting for the arrival of Vatican's non-resident representative to Vietnam Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli at St. Teresa Cathedral of Hung Hoa diocese in Son Tay town, west of Hanoi November 25, 2011.Source: Reuters Date:03/08/2013
Judges wearing wigs attend a ceremony to mark the beginning of the new legal year in Hong Kong January 9, 2012. The territory continued its common law system after it reverted to Chinese rule in 1997.Source: Reuters Date:03/08/2013
A Ninjutsu practitioner jumps over a sword as members of various Ninjutsu schools showcase their skills to the media in their gym at Karaj, 45 km (28 miles) northwest of Tehran February 13, 2012.Source: Reuters Date:03/08/2013
A team member (front) is seen as Salma Pathan, 21, a performer from the western Indian state of Maharashtra, performs a stunt as she rides a bike on the walls of the "Well of Death", one of the attractions at Ramlila fair, in the old quarters of Delhi September 29, 2011. The performers earn their livelihood by performing daredevil stunts such as driving their bikes and cars on the walls of the "Well of Death" attraction, which draws a large number of spectators.Source: Reuters Date:03/08/2013