International Women’s Day: NPWJ salutes women’s fight for human rights worldwide

8 Mar, 2018 | Press Releases

Brussels – Rome, 8 March 2018
Today the world is observing International Women’s Day, celebrating women’s achievements throughout history and throughout the world. This day is also an appropriate occasion to remember the too many gaps hindering – sometimes in a brutal and cruel manner – the process towards the full recognition and protection of women’s rights as universal human rights.

Millions of women and girls worldwide are still victims or at risk of violations of their human rights, as both a result and a perpetuation of gender inequality and discrimination that denies them the most basic forms of personal autonomy and self-determination. They are victims of sexual abuseexploitation and harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and forced marriage. In many parts of the world, women who have the courage to fight for their dignity by challenging regressive social conventions are exposed to great personal risks, including social rejection, harassment, imprisonment and even death.

The human rights of women must be pursued without compromise, promoted and encouraged until they are enshrined in legislation, and protected and safeguarded over time as essential components of the rule of law. The fight is broad: for the right to self-empowerment, the freedom to make informed and autonomous choices about the course of one’s life, one’s sexuality, if and when to have children, whether and when to marry, and all within a context of public policies and structures that allow for real choice. Moreover, unless the legal framework that guarantees full equality between men and women is constantly strengthened, all advances will continue to be attacked, undermined, weakened or revoked.

On this important day when we reaffirm our commitment to stand up for the human rights of women, it is also important to note that many countries worldwide still lack appropriate and effective legislation to protect them and that, where laws have been enacted, political will to implement them effectively has not always followed. NPWJ appeal to all states to turn their political commitment into concrete, efficient and coordinated policies to address the unique and most pressing challenges girls face around the world and to ensure the fulfilment of their human rights.

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For more information, contact Nicola Giovannini (Press & Public Affairs), email: