As we came together to mark International Women’s Day last year, we had no idea that the world was about to shut down and that hard-won women’s rights were about to be put to the test during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the past year, because of the pandemic, we have seen the number of women experiencing gender-based violence go up, the hours women dedicate to unpaid care work skyrocket, threats faced by women human rights defenders increase, marginalized groups including sex workers become further marginalized, access to sexual and reproductive health services decrease, and the number of women in the paid labour force plummet.
But we have also seen activists come together to demand that governments address the violence, ensure access to sexual and reproductive health services, protect activists, advocate for the rights of sex workers, and demand access to affordable and high-quality childcare.
International Women’s Day, which every year falls on March 8th, is always a time to take stock of feminist accomplishments over the past year and re-commit ourselves to the work ahead. This year we have much to take stock of, and much to re-commit ourselves to. The coming year will continue to be shaped by the pandemic response, and it will also be shaped by pandemic recovery. The pandemic has forced us to re-think society, and now is the time to re-think, re-envision, and re-build a more just and equitable world.
In many parts of the world, the pandemic has been a more dangerous time for activists, including women human rights defenders in jail who face a heightened risk of contracting COVID-19. Join us in March to watch an inspirational documentary that we’re sure will leave you more re-committed than ever to our collective activism, and take action in support of jailed women human rights defenders.
- WATCH A MOVIE. Watch “Nasrin,” a new documentary about Iranian women human rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh, which features many other Iranian women’s rights activists on whose behalf Amnesty has advocated in the past, and features the activism of Amnesty supporters from around the world. Join an online discussion with the makers of the “Nasrin” documentary and women human rights defenders from Iran. Register here to screen the film at your leisure from March 8-16, and to participate in the online discussion on March 16 from 7-8pm EST. Space is limited (only 120 spaces).
- READ A BOOK. Read “The Dime Box” by Karen Grose. An accompanying Amnesty Book Club discussion guide is available here.
- DEEPEN YOUR ACTIVISM TO HELP END VIOLENCE AGAINST INDIGENOUS WOMEN, GIRLS AND TWO-SPIRIT PEOPLE. Read our new campaign guide being released on March 8,and follow its guidance to deepen your activism.
- ACT IN SOLIDARITY WITH NASRIN SOTOUDEH. Take action in support of Nasrin, who was temporarily released from prison in November after contracting COVID-19, only to be ordered back from prison before she had recovered.
- TWEET AT KING SALMAN OF SAUDI ARABIA. Join Amnesty International’s global Tweet storm by Tweeting these messages at King Salman:
- ACT IN SOLIDARITY WITH LOUJAIN AL-HATHLOUL. Renowned Saudi women human rights defender Loujain al-Hathlou was convicted in a Saudi terrorism court in December and was released from prison on February 10. Her trial hearing to appeal her conviction is March 2. Write a letter now to help quash Loujain’s sentence!
- ACT IN SOLIDARITY WITH WOMEN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS IN SAUDI ARABIA. Take action to support all the women human rights defenders who continue to be criminalized in Saudi Arabia.