“It's about time”

To mark International Women's Day this Thursday, aid organizations have turned the spotlight on the state of women's rights worldwide. Above all, he said, the fate of women refugees should not be forgotten.

This was said by the president of the international Catholic mission organization missio Munich, Wolfgang Huber. If today millions of people have left their homes due to wars, natural disasters, economic constraints or political injustice, countless women are among them who have found themselves in hopeless situations.

Female refugees are disadvantaged in education, said the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and its German partner, UN Refugee Aid. According to UNHCR's "Her Turn" study released Wednesday, half as many refugee girls as boys are able to attend secondary school, even though they make up half of the world's school-age refugees. In Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia, for example, additional schools for girls are urgently needed.

According to the EU Commission, there is still a long way to go before full equality between women and men is achieved. Women and girls are still confronted with harassment, abuse and violence. Equal opportunities for women and girls must be realized in all areas of life.

Motto: It is time

The motto for International Women's Day this year is "It's about time: activists in the countryside and in the city are changing women's lives". The human rights organization FIAN warned of increasing global warming with regard to countries in the South. As a result, smallholder women farmers who struggled to feed their families suffered. If harvests were reduced due to poor soil or drought, women were under prere to compensate by doing extra work or foregoing food for themselves.

Terres des femmes called for better education for girls and women worldwide. They must be enabled to earn their own living independently of men in order to be able to live in a self-determined manner and with equal rights. The Bundesverband Kinderhospiz drew attention to the situation of caring mothers. It is still the rule that women reduce their work until the children are grown up. When a child becomes seriously ill and requires care, it is usually the mothers who compensate for this extra burden by working less or not at all.

kfd: Demand for fair trade

The international children's charity terre des hommes called for more rights for underage domestic workers. More than 70 percent of the 10 million children affected worldwide are girls, terre des hommes said. Many work under slave-like conditions and cannot go to school. "The risk of becoming victims of discrimination, sexual abuse and exploitation is high," said terre-des-hommes spokesman Wolf-Christian Ramm.

The Catholic Women's Association of Germany (kfd) emphasized that fair trade contributes to fairer and non-violent living and working conditions. The Catholic association for women's social work "In Via" insisted on better protecting women worldwide from exploitation and abuse. For example, Irme Stetter-Karp, the chairwoman of the conference, said that aid for women should be given higher priority in development cooperation.

Handicap International: Women with disabilities particularly at risk

The German Foundation for World Population (DSW) urged stricter prosecution of sexual violence against women and girls. Governments worldwide must take more rigorous action against perpetrators, intensify violence prevention and abolish practices such as genital mutilation and child marriages, said DSW Managing Director Renate Bahr.

According to Handicap International, women with disabilities are particularly at risk of becoming victims of violence. According to the organization, women are often denied the right to lead a self-determined sex life because of social or cultural traditions. This must end.

Andheri Aid reminds that women and girls are exposed to violence and discrimination, especially in India. Fearing dowry payments at wedding, many parents had female fetuses aborted. In childhood and adolescence, girls are usually neglected compared to boys. Less is often invested in the nutrition, health and education of daughters than for sons. For this reason, Andheri Hilfe is paying special attention to women and girls in 2018.

SkF: Demand for better payment in care occupations

According to the Diakonie, the number of homeless women in Germany is rising. "We ame more than 100.000 homeless women. They rarely live on the street, but they do not have their own permanent residence," said Maria Loheide, Diakonie's director of social policy, in Berlin. The organization also ames a high number of unreported cases. Social services urgently need to be raised to a living wage level, Loheide demanded.

The Social Service of Catholic Women (SkF) campaigned for better pay in nursing and social professions. Predominantly women would take over tasks in these areas, which are indispensable for the entire society. They should not be punished with poor wages, warned SkF Federal Chairwoman Anke Klaus.

UN Women and Unesco campaigns

UN Women's "HeForShe" campaign launches ambassador program to mark International Women's Day. Four volunteer male ambassadors are working to make more people aware of the ie of equality and to advocate for it. With the campaign "#WIKIFORWOMAN", Unesco wants to increase the quota of women's biographies on Wikipedia for International Women's Day. Only 17 percent of profiles deal with women. That's why the organization is calling for as many biographies as possible of women from the fields of education, science or culture to be posted on the platform.

From Thursday, the archive and documentation center "FrauenMediaTurm" will provide information about the activities and goals of the women's movement since 1970. The online directory offers an overview of the development of emancipation in Germany in 19 thematic complexes, it said.

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