It’s International Women's Day!

Press for Progress is the theme for 2018 International Women's Day.

This day is recognised annually on March 8.

The United Nations states that sexual harassment, violence and discrimination against women continue to capture headlines and public discourse, propelled by a rising determination for change.

But once more, International Women’s Day this year provides the opportunity to transform this momentum into action, to empower women in all settings – rural and urban– and celebrate the activists who are working relentlessly to claim women’s rights and realise their full potential.

For this year, the day will also draw attention to the rights and activism of rural women, who make up over a quarter of the world population and majority of the 43 percent of women in the global agricultural labour force.

UN Secretary General António Guterres' speech emphasises that the time is now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives.

He notes that despite the direct participation of women in communities, rural women fare worse than rural men or urban women because of the deep seated gender inequalities and discrimination.

Nevertheless, rural women and their organisations represent an enormous potential, and they are on the move to claim their rights and improve their livelihoods and wellbeing, he says.

"They are using innovative agricultural methods, setting up successful businesses and acquiring new skills, pursuing their legal entitlements and running for office."

These achievements will be celebrated today.

(Human Rights Commission picture)

Gloria Bauai