UNESCO celebrates International Women's Day 8 MarchGender Equality Beyond 2005: Building a more Secure Future is the main theme of UNESCO’s events from March 7 to 25 in celebration of International Women’s Day (March 8). This is also the subject of the message* that Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura issued for this occasion.
On March 7 (3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Room II), a round table discussion on Gender Equality Beyond 2005: Building a more Secure Future for Women Reporters, organized in cooperation with the non-government organization Femmes de demain (Women of Tomorrow) and with the support of the French National Commission for UNESCO: will bring together, among others: Ammu Joseph (India), Christine Anyanwu (Nigeria), Anna Politkovskaya (Russian Federation), Marielos Monzón (Guatemala), Lamees Al-Hadidi (Egypt) and Beena Sarwar (Pakistan). Pamela Morinier of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) will moderate the debates. It is in this context that Mr Matsuura will launch, for the fourth time, the global initiative, Women Make the News, a global initiative to encourage media organizations to appoint a woman as chief editor.
On March 8 (3pm-6pm, Room II), another round table discussion, entitled Making a Difference: Women Role Models will bring together women who play a key role in a wide range of areas including: the scientist Concepcion Campa (Cuba); academic Naomi Chazan (Israel); founder of the Mano River Women for Peace Network , Mabel E. M’bayo (Sierra Leone); head of cabinet of the President of Albania, Iris Halili; oenologist Marie-Laurence Saladin (France); the social activist Gloria Cuartas Montoya (Colombia) and Aude Rille, product manager for Automobiles Peugeot.
Also on March 8 (8.30 p.m., in the Cinema), UNESCO and Dia danse Théâtre will present a play, Coiffure pour dames, by Robert Harling. The play, adapted by Michèle Laroque and Claire Nadeau, about six women who meet at the hairdresser's, highlights the characters’ happiness, arguments, tenderness, gossip, anxiety, laughter and drama, against the backdrop of their friendship.
On March 10 (Room XII, 6.30 p.m.), the documentary If I Stand Up, will be screened. Directed and produced by Afghan camerawomen, in collaboration with UNESCO and the non-governmental organization Aïna, it give an insight into the political life of Afghan women. Photographs by Roshanak Bahramlou will also be on show.
Also on March 10, the following films will be screened: Poupées d’argile (Clay Dolls) from Tunisia at 9 a.m., in the presence of its director Nouri Bouzid, Ne dis rien (Say Nothing) by Iciar Bollain, Spain, at 2 p.m., and L'Examen(The Examination) by Nasser Refaie of Iran at 8 p.m. These films are a preview of the 6th International Film Festival against Exclusion and for Tolerance, which will be held at UNESCO Headquarters, March 17 - 23. (For more information, see: www.fifet.org).
On March 15 (Room IV, 2:30 pm - 6:00 pm), a conference entitled Modernity and peace through the role of women in civil society will take place in the presence of Shirin Ebadi, the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Organized in collaboration with the Association of Inter-Cultural and Inter-Religious Dialogue, it will broach the following themes: “Women and modernity”, “Women and civil responsibility for peace” and “Solutions for modernity and peace”. Its numerous participants will include: Nicole Ameline, France’s Minister for Parity and Professional Equality; French philosopher Edgar Morin; Lebanese author Salah Stétié; Michel Cool, the director of Témoignage Chrétien magazine; Alima Boumediene-Thiery, a French senator; Dounia Bouzar, French anthropologist; Ghaleb Bencheikh, journalist and Moslem theologian; Sylvienna Villaudière, president of the association Femmes, Débat et Société ; Michèle Gendreau, president of the University Agency of French-speaking Communities and Rector of Francophone Universities. A debate will take place with Ms Ebadi.
From March 7 to 25, (Ségur Hall and Pas Perdus Room) an exhibition, ART-ROBE: Women Artists at the Nexus of Fashion and Art , will show work from 28 women artists whose work touches on the world of fashion. Dresses, sculptures and other objects will be displayed alongside drawings, photographs and videos, inviting us to consider our bodies, our way of presenting ourselves, and our way of being. The artists taking part in the exhibition are: Maja Bajević; Louise Bourgeois; Cat Chow; Colette; Sylvie Fleury; Regina Frank; Marie-Ange Guilleminot; Gluklya & Tsaplya - Factory of Found Clothes; Gudrun Kampl; Majida Khattari; Kimsooja; Yayoi Kusama; Ruriko Murayama; Ingrid Mwangi; Lucy Orta; Donna Rosenthal; Beverly Semmes; Nicole Tran Ba Vang; Janaina Tschape; Johanna Unzueta; Mâkhi Xenakis; Yim Ja-hyuk; Yin Xiuzhen; Pinar Yolacan; Andrea Zittel; with the exceptional participation of Countess Setsuko Klossovska de Rola, UNESCO Artist for Peace and of Dorette Kuster-Oehlers.
To mark International Women's Day, UNESCO's Audiovisual Platform will be offering 20 films produced in four countries which focus on women’s themes: women's rights, development, employment and social identity. These films - which can be seen online - television broadcasters are invited to request permission to air these films which can also be shown as part of any other cultural events organized for March 8. Any organization wishing to obtain the right to broadcast these films should contact UNESCO's communications development division (firstname.lastname@example.org).
* The Director-General's message will be available at www.unesco.org/dg
For more information on International Women's Day, see: www.unesco.org/women/iwd2005