2018 International Women’s Day Marked by Newfound Activism

Rallies are being held across the globe Thursday to both celebrate International Women’s Day, and to demand an end to the exploitation, discrimination and violence that women continue to face.

In the Philippine capital of Manila, hundreds of women dressed in pink and purple took to the streets to protest the 4,000 people killed under President Rodrigo Duterte and his heavy-handed crackdown on illicit drugs.

Human rights activists say Duterte’s vow to kill thousands of illicit drug dealers have led police to carry out extrajudicial killings of suspected dealers and users.

In Seoul, women’s groups used the day to boost support for the American-born “Me Too” movement against sexual assault in the workplace. The movement has spread across the Asian economic giant after a female prosecutor revealed in January that she had been assaulted by a colleague several years ago, leading to the downfall of numerous high-profile men, including a provincial governor who was a leading presidential contender before he was accused of raping his secretary.

And women in Spain will walkout from their jobs Thursday as part of a “feminist strike” to highlight the social and economic disparities between men and women, including huge differences in pay. A recent study found that Spanish women on average were paid nearly 13 percent less than their male colleagues.

In the Indian capital, New Delhi, hundreds of women carrying placards and banners that read “United we fight, United we win,” Don’t Rape,” and “My body, My choice,” marched through the streets to protest domestic violence, sexual attacks and discrimination in jobs and wages.

In Myanmar, de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi urged women to build peaceful democracies using their strength in politics, economics and social issues.

In Afghanistan, hundreds of women, who would have been afraid to leave their homes during Taliban rule, gathered in the capital, Kabul, to remind their leaders that plenty of work remains to be done to give Afghan woman a voice, ensure their education and protect them from increasing violence.

And in China, students at Tsinghua University used the occasion to make light of a proposed constitutional amendment to scrap term limits for the country’s president.

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