From India and Turkey to Peru and the Philippines, women around the world rallied Sunday to mark International Women's Day, celebrated annually on March 8, and to demand equal rights in their homes, at work, in the streets and beyond.
"It is, indeed, in many parts of [the] world, more dangerous to be a woman than to be a soldier," Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the head of U.N. Women, said. Nearly half of girls ages 15 to 19 say a husband can sometimes be justified in hitting his wife, according to Unicef, the U.N. agency for children.
“The attitudes of societies -- the attitudes of men -- in all regions are still stacked against women,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday, and women are still denied equal rights in health, economics, society, politics and beyond.
One of the first marches for women's rights took place in 1908 in New York City, when 15,000 marched to demand better working hours and pay, as well as voting rights. The following year, the first National Women's Day was declared on Feb. 28.
In 1910, the idea of an international women's day was proposed in Copenhagen, Denmark, at the second International Conference of Working Women, according to the official website for International Women's Day.
8 March 1911 – International Women's Day is launched in Copenhagen, Denmark, by Clara Zetkin. pic.twitter.com/6jGmj6X4Ih
— Historical Pictures (@HistoryTime_) March 8, 2015
Gradually, with strikes, marches and other campaigns, in the first decades of the 20th century, women from Russia to Germany to New York began demanding equal rights for women.
Women all over the world held rallies and marched Sunday, including those in Palestine:
— Belgian Frog (@Belgian_Frog) March 8, 2015
— Belfast Telegraph (@BelTel) March 8, 2015
Sunday's New York march was to wind from the United Nations to Times Square.
International Women's Day was first celebrated by the United Nations in 1975. In 1977, the General Assembly proclaimed the day an international holiday.