On International Women’s Day, people around the world planned to demonstrate, attend conferences, and enjoy artistic events to recognize women and demand equality for half the planet’s population. While some nations noted advances, others faced repression, sexual assaults, and domestic violence which highlighted the ongoing struggle to secure women’s rights. The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres highlighted how women’s rights were abused, threatened, and violated globally, noting that gender equality won’t be achieved for another 300 years given the current pace of change. This is due to progress made over decades vanishing since “the patriarchy is fighting back.” While it was established in 1977, the day has roots in the early 20th-century labor movements and is commemorated differently in various countries. The day involved many events, including rallies in Pakistan, where women marched amid tight security to seek rights guaranteed by the constitution. In Japan, women demanded that the government allow married couples to keep using different surnames to combat gender inequality, while in the Philippines, protesters rallied for higher wages and decent jobs. UN identified Afghanistan as the most repressive nation. Spain passed a new parity law, requiring that women and men must make up at least 40% of the boards of directors of listed companies and large private companies; the same will apply to the Spanish government Cabinet. Political parties must also have gender equity on their electoral lists. However, the US Supreme Court’s ending of the constitutional right to abortion last year and adoption of restrictive abortion laws in some states made this International Women’s Day significant.

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