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#march for women's rights!

As March unfolds there are some important dates for the world’s women and a special date for Jewish women. ICJW is launching a campaign to raise awareness of these important dates with the slogan #MarchForWomen. If you have a Twitter account, please ‘Follow’ the ICJW account and retweet our messages using the hashtag #MarchForWomen. Let’s raise awareness of all the campaigns that go on year-round to make life better for women.

International Women’s Day  falls annually on March 8. This year’s campaign theme is BE BOLD FOR CHANGE – an excellent theme, in my opinion. International Council of Jewish Women has surely enacted this phrase throughout its century- long history. But how unfortunate it is that women still need such a phrase, confirming as it does that women continue to need many improving changes in their lives.

And how about the push to women to be BOLD? Does that suggest that over centuries and through the decades of our own lives, women have been weak? We certainly know that that is not so! Please do celebrate International Women’s Day, attend events in both the general and the Jewish community.  Send us reports on your affiliate’s activities with photos for ICJW publicity.

International Agunah Day , observed on the Fast of Esther, this year falls on Thursday March 9, 2017. In 1990 the Fast of Esther was chosen as the most suitable date by the International Coalition for Agunah Rights.

Agunah Day is observed around the Jewish world by those who consider this an important issue – and that certainly includes ICJW: we have been active for decades in support of women unable to obtain the get. Again, please inform us and send photos of your observance of this date.

The coincidence of adjoining dates for these two most important observances for women gives a push to all of us in International Council of Jewish Women: we need to become more aware of the place of women in today’s world.

ICJW Objectives include “To encourage each Affiliate to work for the improvement of the social, economic and legal status of all women under Jewish and civil law”.                                                                        
March 2017 seems to be the ideal month in which to reassess gender balance and opportunities for women in your own country and your community, and become proactive in upgrading these.

From March 13-26 the  Commission on the Status of Women 61  will be held at the UN in New York.    Nine ICJW members will participate in this large event, Madeleine Brecher is particularly busy as Co-Chair of the CSW61 Forum Reception.

ICJW is very pleased to be involved with three Parallel Events during the first week of CSW. Our five capable UN NY NGO Representatives have worked hard to set up these events with other organisations. For your interest, and so you can recommend to women attending CSW61, these events are listed below.

Tuesday March 14 : THE BUSINESS OF PARLIAMENTS: ACHIEVING WOMEN’S ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT AND WHY 30% WOMEN REPRESENTATION IS IMPORTANT.   Sponsored by ICJW (Representatives Judy Mintz and Joan Lurie Goldberg), WJC, BPW, LWV, PPSEAWA, WFUW.

Wednesday March 15  : HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND LABOR : ACCESSORIZING OUR LIVES AT THE COST OF OTHERS. Sponsored by NGO COMMITTEE TO STOP TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS. (ICJW Representative Rita Fishman).

Thursday March 16 : IT STARTS WITH SAFETY: ADDING GIRLS TO THE GLOBAL AGENDA.  Sponsored by ICJW (Representatives Fran Butensky and Madeleine Brecher), UNICEF USA, Together For Girls.

Meantime in Geneva, our ICJW UN NGO representatives, are extremely busy attending sessions of the month- long  Human Rights Council . Both Leonie de Picciotto and Mary Liling have been long-term ICJW representatives in Geneva, where three lengthy Human Rights Councils are held annually.

While March is so important for women worldwide we should also recognise that HRC Annual Day on the Rights of   the Child  is on Monday 6 March.