Women’s Week, observed in various countries around the world near the start of March, is an event to honor the contributions, resilience and achievements of women.  This week-long celebration not only highlights the progress of women’s rights but also raises awareness of challenges women face around the world. From advocating for political representation to addressing gender-based violence, Women’s Week encourages advocacy and action worldwide.

Women’s Day specifically is celebrated on March 8th of every year. The week leading up to this event serves as a platform for advocacy and awareness whereas Women’s Day is dedicated towards celebrating the achievements of women without prejudice regarding race, culture, nationality, or religion. 

Global Perspectives

In different corners of the world, Women’s Week takes on unique forms and addresses diverse issues, reflecting the multifaceted nature of gender equality.

In regions like Northern Europe, known for its progressive gender policies, Women’s Week often focuses on promoting women in business, especially with regards to encouraging work-life balance, amplifying pay transparency in order to address the gender pay gap and enhancing women’s representation in leadership roles. 

Some countries in Africa use this week to raise awareness about female genital mutilation (FGM), child marriage and access to education and healthcare for women and girls among other topics. Celebrated largely in West Africa, the event promotes action to educate communities on both the roots of these cruel customs and also introduce individuals to a new way of thinking where women have autonomy over their own bodies and futures, as they should. 

In 2002, the Desert Flower Foundation conducted research across Europe and Africa, revealing a frightening statistic that, at the time, over 200 million women and girls were affected in some way by the practices of female genital mutilation. The foundation aims not only to prevent FGM, but also financially and emotionally supports FGM victims and helps finance health care services. 

A few other organizations which support similar goals are:

Equality Now – The organization not only provides support in fighting against FGM, but also raises awareness of how the practice of genital mutilation stems from gender inequality and deeply rooted discrimination, leading to these extreme customs. 

Wallace Global Fund –  The Wallace Global Fund runs multiple initiatives stemming from their goal to fight various forms of injustice and preserve nature and ecosystems. The fund often collaborates with communities and individuals in sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and the Middle East to help educate and end these practice by their goal date of 2030. 

Additionally, the fund collaborates with Donors Working Group on FGM, whose members are also UNFPA, UNICEF and USAID to raise awareness and gain worldwide support. 

Numerous African countries have spread different women’s rights events throughout the year, leading up to the international women’s week. For example, Women in Tech week in Africa aims to promote the tech industry to women, encouraging them to pursue careers in this domain. 

Another large issue being addressed by various organizations is child marriage. UNICEF USA, a member of the National Coalition to End Child Marriage, collaborates with NGO’s in various regions of the world, especially in underdeveloped countries to educate regarding this topic. Furthermore, UNICEF’s collaboration with NGOs within the US aim to permanently ban marriage under the age of 18, as well as raise awareness and terminate exceptions to this ban throughout all states and territories. 

As Seen on Social Media…

Aside from the support gathered by organizations and NGOs, social media campaigns are now promoted throughout the world to raise awareness regarding women’s rights and provide women with a voice and opportunity to talk about their experiences and struggles. 

Furthermore, social media campaigns often generate recognition around key issues, using hashtags like #WomenEmpowerment, #BreakTheGlassCeiling, and #GenderEquality. These digital platforms provide a safe space for women to share and relate their experiences, celebrate achievements and promote initiatives for communities and individuals to take action to the best of their abilities.  

Women’s Week serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of gender equality and the ongoing struggle for women’s rights worldwide. The event allows us to grow and flourish as a society. We are thankful for all of the strong and loving women in the world and in our community.