International Women's Day
On each International Women's Day which falls on March 8, Secretary-General of the United Nations conveys special messages to all women in the world. The issues raised in the messages range from violence against women to women's empowerment stressing that the achievement of women's rights and gender equality is the responsibility of all human kind.
International Women's Year became a framework within which women's issues could be the subject of global attention and, at the same time, it highlighted the forgotten dimensions of many issues in a way which would not otherwise have been possible. Thanks to the International Women's Year also, world conferences such as World Population Conference, World Food Conference and other significant conferences, raised women-related issues in the debates covering all possible aspects of women's lives from food, health and education to family planning and political participation. In many events, those important issues are still being raised.
The Millennium Declaration itself has given us an overriding mission for the 21st century, that is putting people at the center of everything we do and working for freedom from fear, freedom from want and protection of the resources of this planet. We are then resolved to work for gender equality and the empowerment of women as vital tools to combat poverty and disease, and we are also determined to build on the contribution of women in managing conflict and building peace.
The problem is, have those messages conveyed each year by the UN Secretary-General touched all women's lives worldwide? Are those women aware of the problems they're facing and they might face? The United Nations always puts greater attention on women's fate. It is undoubtedly everyone's task and responsibility at any level to help women live and enjoy the life they deserve.
LYNDA SOETITO, Jakarta