International Women’s Day 2015

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International Women’s Day (8 March) is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.

The theme for 2015, “Empowering Women - Empowering Humanity: Picture It!" envisions a world where each woman and girl can exercise her choices, such as participating in politics, getting an education, having an income, and living in societies free from violence and discrimination.

Women are differentially affected by several risk factors for noncommunicable diseases. Girls and women are generally less physically active than men with many contributing factors related to income, limited mobility, household hierarchies and roles. In some WHO regions, such as the European and the Americas, more than 50% of women are overweight.

Nearly 25% of women in the WHO European Region experience violence and/or sexual abuse by an intimate partner.

Despite great improvements in women’s access to health care, education and training, work and employment issues remain. Women earn less than men, form the majority of the unemployed, have lower pensions, do more part-time work and hold fewer of the more senior roles in business and the public sector.