By Robert Irven
"This year, International Women’s Day comes on the heels of unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice. Sexual harassment, violence and discrimination against women has captured headlines and public discourse, propelled by a rising determination for change." -United Nations
Today marks the celebration of International Women's Day, a day in which we should reflect on the progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage, resilience and determination by both ordinary and extraordinary women who have played an important role in the history of their countries, society and local communities. This year, the theme of today's celebrations and events is "Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives,” which puts an emphasis on the importance women play in the development of both parts of society. "Echoing the priority theme of the upcoming 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, International Women’s Day will also draw attention to the rights and activism of rural women, who make up over a quarter of the world population, and are being left behind in every measure of development." (United Nations, 2018)
As our Center is a strong believer and advocate for human rights, women's rights, and the ongoing struggle to achieve them in full, certainly falls under this overarching theme, and much of our past and current work focuses on gender and its connection to development in the region. The subject of gender, often combined to create a nexus of justice, development or equality, were touched upon in a variety of our publications, most notably from our Salween Fellowship researchers. From various blogs, to policy briefs on the topics of "Gender and Hydropower: Women’s Rights in the Development Discourse" or "Large Hydropower Projects in Ethnic Areas in Myanmar: Placing Community Participation and Gender Central to Decision-Making," the Center for Social Development Studies continues to put gender and the importance of having women at the forefront of development and decision-making processes as a main priority of our research and projects.
For more information about International Women's Day 2018 and additional downloadable resources, please visit the official United Nations website.