Hailed by many as a “watershed” year for feminism, 2014 offered women and women-identified individuals a year full of firsts, renewing the vigor in the ongoing fight for women’s empowerment. To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, we’re look back at the top 10 women’s rights victories of 2014:
It is probably fair to say that I approached Simone de Beauvoir the wrong way round: I visited her grave before I read a word she'd written. This was not particularly my intention. Many years ago I was in Paris, with a handsome man who liked Sartre (my youth was filled with such men, several of whom also played the guitar. I have nothing to offer in my defence). He liked Sartre so much that he wanted to visit the great man's grave.
20 years ago, 189 countries adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a visionary roadmap for women's rights and empowerment. Much has been achieved since then, but much more needs to be done and can be done. A world in which gender equality is a reality: Picture it!
Leslee Udwin spent two years making a documentary on the horrific rape and killing of young medical student Jyoti Singh. And it asks, has the attack really spurred a sea change for gender equality in India?
As a human rights activist, I know too well the unwavering determination needed to defend the rights of society's most vulnerable and marginalised.
For many activists and human rights defenders, especially women, this struggle for freedom often comes with persecution, imprisonment, exile and political attacks. This year's International Women's Day is dedicated to women who 'Make it Happen', and plenty of women come to mind who embody this theme.
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