Celebrating 100 Years of Women's Empowerment

March 7, 2011

Wow! International Women’s Day is celebrating 100 years of women’s empowerment and progress towards complete gender equality! To celebrate this momentous benchmark, Amnesty International USA plans to kick off the first full week of March with a series of blog posts highlighting the work we continue to do address women’s human rights issues.

International Women’s Day represents two sides of the push for women’s rights: one is a celebration of how far we’ve come, and the other is a reinvigoration of the push for total gender equality.

For years, Amnesty has been striving to ensure universal rights for all women – focusing specifically on ending violence against women, including the violence and sexual assault perpetrated against Indigenous women in the U.S. As we expanded our work to include the broad spectrum of economic, social, and cultural rights, we have taken on the daunting task of fighting for those human rights violations that are both a cause and consequence of poverty.

Our struggle to uphold women’s rights has two components; as we seek to not only address the human rights violations themselves, but the consequences and inequalities that lead to their perpetration.

On the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, Amnesty is re-affirming our dedication to all aspects of the women’s equality movement – from fighting to end gender based violence domestically and abroad, to ending the inequalities that lead to preventable maternal deaths, to ensuring that the U.S. government is committed to women’s equality through ratification of treaties such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

Check our blog every day this week as we will be highlighting the latest information on the issue of assaults against women in the tumultuous Middle East, the fight to end maternal mortality globally and in the U.S., the push for U.S. ratification of CEDAW, the drive to ensure that the U.S. upholds its responsibilities to improve public safety in Indian Country, the push to end the epidemic of sexual violence against Indigenous women, and the struggle to end gender-based violence through ongoing foreign assistance and development programs.

The fight for gender equality has come a long way since the first International Women’s Day was celebrated in 1911. But now is the time to refresh our push for total gender equality – let us unite to revitalize the movement to ensure universal rights for women as leaders in the world!

Katherine Raymond contributed to this post.