In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day 2015

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We have jour­neyed long and far-we have made sig­nif­i­cant progress-yet there re­mains so much more to ac­com­plish be­fore we can de­clare victory. We must step up to the chal­lenge, we must en­hance ef­forts to re­al­ize all the goals of this global agenda for gen­der equal­ity and change the lives for women and girls- for men and boys for the bet­ter.

- Her Majesty Gya­lyum San­gay Cho­den Wangchuck

An­nu­ally cel­e­brated on 8 March, the In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day (IWD) 2015 will fo­cus on the theme “Make it Hap­pen.” Bhutan joins the global com­mu­nity this year to cel­e­brate women’s achieve­ments while call­ing on for greater gen­der equal­ity in Wangdipho­drang. Her Majesty Gya­lyum San­gay Cho­den Wangchuck will grace the oc­ca­sion as the chief guest, join­ing stu­dents and the lo­cal com­mu­nity of Wangdipho­drang. It is jointly or­ga­nized by RE­NEW and the Dzongkhag Ad­min­is­tra­tion, with sup­port from the Na­tional Com­mis­sion for Women and Chil­dren (NCWC) and United Na­tions Sys­tem in Bhutan.

IWD is cel­e­brated to rec­og­nize women’s achieve­ments with­out re­gard for di­vi­sions based on na­tion­al­ity, eth­nic­ity, lan­guage, cul­tural, eco­nomic or po­lit­i­cal. It is an oc­ca­sion to look back at past strug- gles and ac­com­plish­ments, but more im­por­tantly, to look ahead at un­tapped po­ten­tial and op­por­tu­ni­ties that await fu­ture gen­er­a­tions of women. This year’s theme ‘Make it Hap­pen’ en­cour­ages ef­fec­tive ac­tion for ad­vanc­ing and rec­og­niz­ing the roles that women play in our so­ci­ety. Women are the driv­ers of peace in their homes, hold­ing stead­fast the fab­rics of their com­mu­ni­ties, and some even go­ing the ex­tra dis­tance in build­ing peace at the global level. Se­ries of dec­la­ra­tions and com­mit­ments have been made by global lead­ers - Mil­len­nium Devel­op­ment Goals (MDGs), In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence for Pop­u­la­tion Devel­op­ment (ICPD) and Bei- jing Dec­la­ra­tion and Plat­form of Ac­tion to Em­power Women, over and above the Con­ven­tion on the Elim­i­na­tion of All Forms of Dis­crim­i­na­tion against Women (CEDAW). In Bhutan, the Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Pre­ven­tion Act (DVPA) and the Child Care and Pro­tec­tion Act ( CCPA) are two main leg­is­la­tions that have been en­acted to en­sure the pro­vi­sion of a com­pre­hen­sive legal frame­work to pro­tect and pro­mote the rights of women and chil­dren in line with th­ese in­ter­na­tional com­mit­ments. Ef­forts are un­der­way to im­ple­ment th­ese leg­is­la­tions and thus, the theme for 2015 “Make it hap­pen” is fit­ting in this con­text - to trans- of Asian and Pa­cific Con­fer­ence on Gen­der Equal­ity and Women’s Em­pow­er­ment held in Bangkok stated - ‘ We have jour­neyed long and far- we have made sig­nif­i­cant progress- yet there re­mains so much more to ac­com­plish be­fore we can de­clare victory. We must step up to the chal­lenge, we must en­hance ef­forts to re­al­ize all the goals of this global agenda for gen­der equal­ity and change the lives for women and girls- for men and boys for the bet­ter’.

IWD cel­e­bra­tions will also take place na­tion­ally led by the Multi Sec­toral Task Force ( MSTF) and RE­NEW’s Com­mu­nity Based Sup­port Sys­tem ( CBSS); and youth vol­un­teers.

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