Every year on International Women’s Day, March 8th, people around the world honor the often ignored contributions of women throughout history. We gather to demand an end to violations against women, and we pay tribute to the activism of countless women who have fought over the generations to defend women’s human rights.
This week, in celebration of International Women’s Day, we are bringing you a series of blog entries on the many ways peoples around the world chose to mark this day.
In Afghanistan, women organized public prayer assemblies in 7 cities across the country: Kandahar, Bamyan, Kabul, Herat, Mazar, Daikundi and Jalalabad. The Public Prayer for Peace with Justice took place at 10:00 a.m. in the designated cities across Afghanistan, with participants wearing sky blue scarves to the event.
The color of the scarves was chosen to call to mind the burka, also a sky blue. “The women in Afghanistan deliberately chose this colour to call attention to the need to look beyond the burka toward a future where women's contribution to society is fully acknowledged,” said Wenny Kusuma, the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) country director in Afghanistan, whose organization supported the event.
This gathering was notable for its unprecedented size and scope, with up to 15,000 women attending in cities throughout the country. In solidarity with the women in Afghanistan attending the prayer gathering yesterday, women around the world also wore blue scarves—and urged others to do so as well—as a sign of their support for this International Women’s Day peace assembly.
To show support for the gathering, the Facebook group “Blue Scarf Campaign for the Women of Afghanistan” publicized the meeting that was taking place in Afghanistan and called others to wear blue scarves and post their photos wearing them to the event page. You can visit the event page here.
Check back with us again this week, as we post more examples of International Women’s Day events worldwide.