International Women’s Day celebrations were held across the world Sunday. But in many countries hard hit by the coronavirus outbreak, a number of events were canceled.
In South Korea, which is reporting the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases outside of China, was among the nations calling off public Women's Day events.
"Although we can't be physically together, our minds for realizing gender equality are stronger than ever," the country's gender equality minister Lee Jung-Ok said in a video message.
On the same day in South Korea, the new feminist political party announced its launch with an estimated 8,000 signed members.
In Italy, which has reported the most deaths from COVID-19 outside of China, a quarter of the country was on lockdown as of Sunday.
But in neighboring Spain, Women’s Day events continued as scheduled, as they did in Paris.
In China, the epicenter of the COVID-19 virus which originated in the northeastern city of Wuhan, state-run news outlets celebrated the female health workers on the frontlines of the crisis.
State-run media outlet Xinhua profiled female laboratory technicians, nurses, and psychological professionals helping those affected by the outbreak to honor International Women’s Day.
According to the World Health Organization, roughly 70% of the global health workforce is female.
Women make up 70% of the global health workforce. That's why on #WomensDay, I remind everyone that the world needs 9 million more nurses & midwives to achieve #HealthForAll. 2020 is the year to #SupportNursesAndMidwives & to invest in their education & jobs. pic.twitter.com/ueK07bP5qO— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) March 8, 2020
In Pakistan, the “aurat march” (women’s march) went ahead as scheduled in the capital of Islamabad, but a number of people were reportedly injured in violent clashes between some 1,000 feminist marchers and conservative marchers holding a “Modesty Walk.”
A women’s marathon planned in neighboring India was canceled amid virus fears but women did march in several cities to commemorate International Women's Day. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that a number of prominent women would be taking over his social media accounts in honor of the day.
Protesters in the Philippine capital of Manila burned an effigy of president Rodrigo Duterte, whom they accuse of misogyny.
The theme of International Women’s Day 2020 is “Each for Equality”. “An equal world is an enabled world,” International Women’s Day wrote on their website.