Wednesday is International Women’s Day with a theme this year focusing on the need for gender equity.
The annual observance, which dates to 1911 and fights for women’s rights, is a day for people everywhere to celebrate the achievements of women across society.
The United Nations is putting the focus of its International Women’s Day programs on the importance of protecting the rights of women and girls in digital spaces and working to address gaps in access to vital technology.
The U.N. says worldwide 259 million fewer women have access to the internet than men, and that without access and the ability to feel safe online, “they are unable to develop the necessary digital skills to engage in digital spaces.”
In Washington, the International Women of Courage award ceremony is taking place at the White House for the first time. The award, which has been given to 180 women from 80 countries since 2007, “recognizes women from around the globe who have demonstrated exceptional courage, strength, and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equity and equality, often at great personal risk and sacrifice,” according to the U.S. State Department.
This year’s event will feature 12 honorees, including an award for the women and girls in Iran who have led protests since the September death in police custody of Mahsa Amini.
Some information for this report came from Reuters.