International Women's Day 2006

Women Rebuilding Post-Tsunami Asia

© BSP/GE

The year 2006 marked a promising turning point for women in politics, as it ushered in the first democratically elected female President in Africa, H.E. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, and the first female President in Chile, H.E. Michele Bachelet.

To celebrate these auspicious events, as well as all the women who contribute to local, national, regional and global politics, UNESCO had the pleasure to host, on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2006, an International Roundtable on the theme:

"Women in Politics".

At the turn of the 21st century, women’s right to participate in politics has almost globally been recognized. Yet, despite their longstanding contribution to the political life of their countries, women continue to be significantly underrepresented at the ministerial level worldwide and rarely ascend to the highest positions of State leadership and decision-making. While some countries, such as Argentina, Rwanda, Spain and Sweden, have made great strides in promoting the equal political representation of women and men, others demonstrate that a covert discrimination against women persists.

Please see the International Round Table publication (PDF format) for an overview of the proceedings including the speeches and highlights of the debate.

The brochure of the exhibition "Women Rebuilding Life in Post-Tsunami Asia" held at UNESCO during the month of March is also available online. It was an exhibition of twenty photos taken by the photo-journalist Agostino Pacciani, who travelled to several countries affected by the tsunami, in order to witness the specific situation women in these regions are facing as they reconstruct their houses, villages, cities and lives. The collection of photos expresses the emotion and vitality of these women, their strength and incredible perseverance, their confidence, and their hope for the future.

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