This year on 8th March 2013, the UN jointly celebrated International Women’s Day in Kenya through the JP GEWE within the UN Complex. The various activities were planned to encourage recognition of the day within UN staff in Kenya and highlight the message from the UN’s global theme “A promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women”.
Stickers bearing a visual message and single stem roses, each wrapped beautifully in fern, ribbon and cellophane paper were disseminated to more than 1000 men and women in the complex. The stickers and flowers were placed in containers in cafeterias and people were encouraged to pick something for themselves while getting their tea or coffee in the morning. A banner was hung over the UN Pavilion on the day so the staff entering the complex as well as passersby could look at the message to celebrate the day. An e-message to commemorate the day was shared with all UN staff as well as our partners in Kenya and it was also displayed on information screens within the complex.
Some of the volunteers also took a container to distribute the material to guests and other people around the complex. The activities, especially the distribution of roses, were widely appreciated and were the perfect conclusion to a tense week of waiting for the 2013 General Election results. Instead of holding another seminar or workshop, the day was celebrated through lighthearted activities that brought smiles on everyone’s faces and brightened their day.
The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March in 1975. In December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution to have a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace. It was to be observed by Member States according to their historical and national traditions. It is a time for countries to assess and highlight achievements made by and for women, advocate for change within society and celebrate the role of courageous women who made history through their dedication to the cause.