Please check out some of the statistics highlighted in the below article, linked here. Please note the below article references some photographs. As I didn't know how to transfer them over please click on the link to see them.
Tabby Biddle.Writer/Reporter dedicated to the empowerment of women
Posted: March 8, 2011 03:32 PM BIO Become a Fan Get Email Alerts Bloggers' Index .International Women's Day: Celebrating Women Who Forge Democracy In Liberia
Read More: International Women's Day , Liberia , Michelle Bachelet , President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Hillary Clinton , Un Women , United Nations , Women Leaders , Women's Empowerment , Women's Rights , Impact News
There are 192 countries that are recognized members of the United Nations. Women have the right to vote in only 67 of them. That means in 65 percent of the world's nations, women's voices are silenced in the creation of the laws and policies that govern them (and their children). Most of us know that women make up more than half of the world's population. So does something feel off balance to you?
Today is the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day. One hundred years ago, women could vote in only two countries (Australia and New Zealand). So we could say we've come a long way in 100 years -- and we have -- but we all must must recognize that we've got a ways to go.
To mark this 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile and current Executive Director of UN Women, joined Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf - the first democratically elected woman President in Africa -- in Liberia to highlight the importance of women's leadership in forging strong democracies, economies and re-building societies after conflict.
"I am very pleased to celebrate this milestone in Liberia, a country where women's influence in forging peace and recovery offers lessons for all countries committed to advancing gender equality and women's human rights," said Ms. Bachelet in a press briefing.
Female United Nations peacekeepers yesterday with Kathy Calvin, CEO U.N. Foundation, left, and Executive Director of U.N. Women and former President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet after visiting a Peace Hut, a forum for community justice, in rural Liberia. Photo credit: Stuart Ramson/Insider Images for the United Nations Foundation.
Liberia is not only the first country in Africa to democratically elect a woman as president, but the home to one of the first female peacekeeping units. "This is a country that has stood up and has been able to build a stable democracy for five years after more than 10 years of conflict," said Ms. Bachelet. "I believe women are essential agents of peace. They are always trying to find the consensus."
It turns out that today women make up less than 8 percent of peace teams around the world, and of those eight percent, no women are at the head.
If we look at heads of state, the disparity is similar. Out of 192 countries around the world, only 19 women are heads of state. Remember, we are more than 50 percent of the population.
Teen girls meet with the United Nations Foundation's Girl Up Campaign over the weekend to talk about the challenges women face in post-conflict Liberia. The girls are part of a special program at the THINK empowerment center in Liberia's capital Monrovia. Photo credit: Stuart Ramson/Insider Images for the United Nations Foundation
It can seem like we have come so far in 100 years, and we have. But it's also obvious that there is so much more work to do.
Today let's celebrate being women and give thanks to the courageous women before us who have spoken out for women's rights and risked their lives for the sake of all women. Let's honor the women in Liberia who have been confronted with devastating violence and are re-building their country and boldly setting an example of what is possible with women as agents of peace.
Let's continue to celebrate how far we've come, and with this, deepen our commitment to speaking up for ourselves and for the rights and respect of all women and girls around the world. I am convinced this will be a win-win for everyone.