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8th March 2018 ReliefWeb

Over one hundred years ago, in March 1911, over a million women in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland turned up at rallies on the first International Women’s Day. Among their demands: the right to vote, to work, hold public office, and access vocational training. It was a historical day which has since become an annual rallying point for change. Today, International Women’s Day is marked globally and is an official holiday in 27 countries from Afghanistan to Guinea-Bissau to Vietnam.

The day is one on which we celebrate the achievements of women. However, it is also a day to reflect on the ways in which our world and our societies are shaped by gender.

Climate change is among the most urgent challenges of our day and it’s critical to see, its impacts are not “gender neutral”. In fact, the situation is worst for the most vulnerable: according to the UNFCCC, in situations of poverty women commonly face higher risks and greater burdens from the impacts.

The first step to addressing the issues is recognising them. And so it’s promising to see that over the past several years, with persistent advocacy and recognition of the issues, gender has been increasingly under the global spotlight.

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