For information only - not an official document

4 March 2010

Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All:
UNIS Vienna Marks International Women's Day

VIENNA, 4 March (UN Information Service) - "Until women and girls are liberated from poverty and injustice, all our goals - peace, security, sustainable development - stand in jeopardy," says United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message on the occasion of this year's International Women's Day, marked worldwide on 8 March.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the outcome of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. The Beijing Platform - the most comprehensive global policy framework to achieve the goals of gender equality, development and peace - called for action on 12 key issues: poverty, education and training, health, violence against women, armed conflict, economy, power and decision-making, institutional mechanisms, human rights, media, environment, and girls.

In recognition of this important anniversary, the theme of this year's International Women's Day is "Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All". Since the Beijing Conference, progress has been made in a number of areas, most significantly in education. However, while gender-sensitive legislation and policies have addressed inequalities and discrimination against women, overall progress remains uneven. Disparities exist between regions and within countries. Global averages also hide differences among women based on location, economic status, ethnicity, age, disability and other factors.


UNIS Vienna will mark International Women's Day with a panel discussion in cooperation with the NGO Committee on the Status of Women on 9 March, 12:30 - 14:00 hours, at the Vienna International Centre. Jacqueline Niavarani, Advisor of the Austrian Federal Minister for Women and Civil Service, Marlene Parenzan, Chairperson of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women and Julia Raabe, Journalist of Der Standard, will discuss progress made in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, portraying global setbacks and advances, concurrently referring to the national level of implementation in Austria, as well as equal opportunities and equal rights of women in the media. The discussion will be moderated by Maher Nasser, Director, UNIS Vienna.

Also at the Vienna International Centre, the United Nations Women's Guild Vienna is celebrating International Women's Day with a concert offered by the European-Russian Association for International Cooperation, featuring young award-winning artists from several countries who will perform a wide range of classical music, in honour of women around the world.


The Alternative Secondary School of Economics Budapest will mark International Women's Day with a briefing and debate on the global situation of women, in cooperation with UNIS Vienna, on 8 March.


Business Academy Levice, with the support of UNIS Vienna, will celebrate International Women's Day with a one-day special event on 8 March, including an information stand set up by students in the pedestrian zone of Levice, a special radio programme with students, and presentations on situation of women in the world today and violence against women.


The European Parliament Information Office in Slovenia and the Spanish Embassy in Ljubljana will hold a one-month exhibition on violence against women at EU house in Ljubljana, with the participation of the European Commission Representation in Slovenia, UNIS Vienna, Association SOS Help Line, the KLJUC Society, the Association against Violent Communication, United Nations Association of Slovenia, Women's Lobby Slovenia and Women's Counseling Service. The exhibition will be opened on 5 March at 13:00 hours. For further information visit:

* *** *

For further information, please contact:

Maria Naderhirn
NGO/CSO Liaison, UNIS Vienna
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-3324

Sonja Wintersberger
Deputy to the Director, UNIS Vienna
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-3430

For further information on the concert, please contact the President of the United Nations Women's Guild Vienna:

Maria van Burik