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International Women’s Day

Sudanese women from Kassab Internally Displaced Persons Camp in northern Darfur © UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran“The current upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa aptly illustrates the disconnect between availability of education, and access to employment and social justice,” High Commissioner for Human Rights says Navi Pillay told the Human Rights Council on 8 March to mark International Women’s Day.

“At the core of the recent uprisings were the frustration of many educated young women and men over lack of jobs and denial of fundamental rights and freedoms.

“It is not surprising that women have played a key role in the protest movements. Claiming the public space, they were at the forefront of the demonstrations.  They knew that women stood to suffer the most from a perpetuation of the status quo,” she said.

“Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women” is the theme of International Women’s Day this year.

“Let us stand in solidarity with women in every corner of the world who are working for positive change in their families, their communities and in their countries,” Pillay said.

Read the full speech of the High Commissioner

The 16th session of the Human Rights Council takes place from 28 February to 25 March at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. More information is available on the webpage of the session, which is also webcast live.