ACORD at the March on March 8 in New York
Photo: ACORD's Aminata Ndiaye, Ellen Bajenja and Emmah Nungari
ACORD staff participated in the first ever "March on March 8" - international women's day peace procession of women and men in New York on the 8th of March 2013. The large number of women who braved the heavy snow downpour from the UN headquarters to the Dag Hammarskjold Park made a strong statement about the urgent need to end violence against women!
Photo: Ban Ki-Moon and his wife at the 1st annual March on March 8.
The function was graced with the presence of the UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon and his wife, both of whom are committed to the women cause. Present was also well known American actress Susan Sarandon who read a special message from Pakistani school girl Malala Yusafzai.
Photo: Thousands marched in the cold and wet New York weather
The signs of determination and hope to end violence against women resonated in the many statements given by the celebrity and dignitary speakers:
"It may be impossible to end all violence against women and girls, but when I see you all, I am convinced that this is a movement whose time has come. Let us create a bright and safe future for the million young girls and women all over the world." Mrs. Ban Soon-Taek, Patron of the UN Women for Peace
"No peace without equality for women"...
Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director UN Women said: "Assembling in this weather at this time we women are making history. Marches make a difference because they affect others around them and change is what we need to bring about changes in the ways society acts and make commitment to end violence and transform the way we do things in gender equality and women empowerment. Today let us go forward with courage and conviction that there can be no peace without equality for women."
"Violence against women is not cultural, it is criminal. We are committed to the struggle for gender equality all around the world." Ambassador Rosemary A. DiCarlo, US Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN
The march is set to become an annual event and Chair Lady of Women for Peace Initiative said; "This march is not only about awareness, we need governments to commit to enforce to ending violence against in their national agenda."
Well known American actress Susan Sarandon welcomed men present and noted that their presence was a sign of commitment and more and more men will join the struggle. "When women are free, then men definitely have more fun. Any real man will support women being free" she said.
Special message from Malala Yousafzai
Reading from the diary of Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani school girl victim of violence: "Today it's an honour to speak on the rights of women and human rights. Every day is women's day and everyday is a day of women's rights. And every day is the day of the rights of all human beings. Girls are deprived of their basic rights of education. Women are deprived of the chances to work. If we don't fight for our rights, we won't get our rights to education and there will be no peace in the world. If we sit at home and wait for someone to come and speak for our rights, then we will not see the day in which each and every girl goes to school. The basic thing is that education is a tool for survival."
Women reiterated commitments togetherWomen together reiterated their commitment to say NO to violence against women and girls including:
• NO to discrimination and violence against women and girls
• NO to domestic violence and abuse
• NO to rape and sexual slavery
• NO to human trafficking
• NO to female genital mutilation
• NO to child brides and child marriage
• NO to crimes committed in the name of honour passion
• No to femicide
• No to impunity.
They collectively said YES to:
• YES to prevention, protection and punishment of perpetrators
• YES to provision of services
• YES to peace, development and human rights
• YES to justice and equality.
Read more about ACORD's participation at CSW57
Read more about ACORD's work on women's rights