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A special day for our women

Fred Wesley
Saturday, March 08, 2014

Today is a very important day for women around the world.

It's International Women's Day. Today is about celebrating the importance of women in our lives.

It's a day when we should celebrate women's accomplishments and advocate for gender equality. It is about respect for the place of women in every aspect of our daily lives. It is about acknowledgement of their achievements in many different fields from politics, economics, to sports.

Today should be about understanding women's issues, and accepting the fact that they have an important role to play in society, and in nation-building.

There is a line of thought that will push for acknowledgement of women's rights and for equality in employment and leadership for instance.

This special day is marked on March 8 annually. Women's day, however, really should be every day.

As the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Mo said in his message for today, this International Women's Day should be about highlighting the importance of achieving equality for women and girls "not simply because it is a matter of fairness and fundamental human rights, but because progress in so many other areas

depends on it".

"Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth," he said.

"Companies with more women leaders perform better. Peace agreements that include women are more durable. Parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support."

He pointed out "the evidence is clear: equality for women means progress for all".

He said important gains have been made in access to primary education for girls and political representation by women. But progress, he said, remains far too slow and uneven.

"I have a message for every girl born today, and to every woman and girl on the planet: Realising human rights and equality is not a dream, it is a duty of governments, the United Nations and every human being," he said.

"I also have a message for my fellow men and boys: play your part. All of us benefit when women and girls — your mothers, sisters, friends and colleagues — can reach their full potential.

"Together, let us work for women's rights, empowerment and gender equality as we strive to eliminate poverty and promote sustainable development. Equality for women is progress for all."

It is fitting that today we also acknowledge the achievement of our very own politician and "Be the Change Campaign" activist Roshika Deo who was one of the recipients of the 2014 International Women of Courage Award of the American Government.

The award recognises women around the globe who have demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality and women's empowerment, often at great personal risk.

Ms Deo was among 10 other women chosen from 10 other countries for the award.

Her achievement serves to remind us of the impact women can have on society, and in our lives. The recognition is great for Fiji and a milestone for Ms Deo.

We wish all women in Fiji an enjoyable day on this their special day.





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