Yesterday, March 8th, was International Women's Day, a day globally devoted to "celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future." The day was indeed celebrated, from Gaza to Tunisia, Paris to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
An Algerian woman holds a rose during a beauty show at the 'International Salon for Woman and Beauty' held at the Algerian palace of culture center to celebrate the International Women's Day, on March 8, 2010 in Algiers. On the eve of International Women's Day the United Nations estimated women's literacy in the conservative Muslim country at around 40 percent.
Pakistani visitors look a painting during an exhibition held to mark International Women's Day at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts, (PNCA) in Islamabad. Around 150 works would be displayed by 70 young and eminent female artists one of the themes entitled 'Tribute to the creative intellect'.
French actress Marion Cotillard listens to French Ecology minister Jean-Louis Borloo during a working lunch with women involved with sustainable development initiatives, in Paris.
A Filipina holds a placard during a rally near the Presidential Palace in Manila.
A masked member of the Nicaraguan Feminist Movement participates in the commemoration of the International Women's Day, in Managua on March 8, 2010.
Singer Katharine McPhee performs during a reception marking in the East Room of the White House.
Haitians attend a ceremony also attended by Canadian Governor General Michaelle Jean at the Ministry of the Condition of Women and Women's Rights in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Women gather in New York City as part of a movement titled Join me on the Bridge. The original protest occurred in Honorata, where hundreds of Congolese and Rwandan women united to demand an end to the violence, and was replicated at bridges in different cities all around the world. Additional protests were held in Bosnia, Kosovo, Sudan, the UK and the US.
Image courtesy of Women for Women International
An Afghan woman attends a ceremony in Lashkar Gah in Helmand province of Afghanistan. The ceremony was held by The US Agency for International Development (USAID) to bring the women of Helmand together to discuss the successes and challenges of women-centred activities throughout the province.
Sydney women scale the Sydney Harbour Bridge as women around the world meet together on bridges to mark the day at Sydney Harbour. Australian women also simultaneously walked across the Sydney landmark as women across the world met to wish for peace and development for women in war torn countries across. Zainab Salbi will meet with Hilary Clinton on the bridge between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and UK PM Gordon Brown's wife will meet with the wife of David Cameron, Leader of the Opposition, on London's Millenium Bridge in the gesture taking place on over 100 bridges worldwide.
An Afghan woman carrying flowers passes by Italian soldiers in Herat, Afghanistan. Afghan independent human rights watchdogs have said that efforts must be redoubled to combat gender violence, forced marriages and a lack of education amongst women in Afghanistan.
Pink crosses reading "Not even one more" stand in Ciudad Juarez. 28 women have been murdered since January 1 in Ciudad Juarez according to non-governmental organizations.
Tunisian female students follow their courses in the amphitheater of the university of Tunis. Women's rights have inched forward in the Middle East, but gender inequality remains the norm in the region and in some countries the situation has taken a turn for the worse, says a US study. In Tunisia, education is an obligation and free of access.
Barack Obama looks at Michelle as she speaks during a reception in the East Room of the White House. The reception honored women from around the world and their achievements.
Indian activists shout shout slogans in condemnation of atrocities against women in New Delhi. Principally opposed to the proposed Women's Reservation Bill, the demonstrators instead demanded better jobs and education for women. An attempt by India's government to pass legislation reserving a third of all seats in the national parliament provoked uproar today as opposition politicians forced repeated adjournments. The government had been confident that the Women's Reservation Bill, which has been stalled for 14 years, would gather the required votes to pass in the upper house after being presented on International Women's Day.
An Indonesian woman activist carries a banner with the message "Provide appropriate jobs" during a rally in Jakarta. Various women's rights groups staged a protest in the capital to mark the day and to demand equal rights and end violence against women in Indonesia.
Conservative Kuwaiti women attend the first Women Forum held in Kuwait City. In the Gulf emirate, women gained the right to vote and stand for election in 2005 and made history in 2009 when four female lawmakers were voted into parliament.
Women demonstrate holding placards reading "Mothers, free!" during the commemoration of the International Women's Day in Madrid.
A Palestinian artist gives the final touches to a wall painting in a street in Gaza City. Palestinian institutions supporting women distributed roses in the Gaza Strip.