International Women's Day: How it's celebrated around the globe

International Women's Day has served for more than a century as a day to honor the achievements of women globally. Here are some ways people are celebrating:

6. Middle East and North Africa

A contemporary art exhibit is being held at the MISR gallery in Cairo, Egypt. The artwork by Nadine Hammam will “address the existing fears of a persistent patriarchal military dictatorship in the present Egyptian context,” according to the gallery’s Facebook page.
Honoring the day through arts is an approach used in the West Bank as well, where a series of billboard-sized photos are displayed throughout Ramallah.  Five female photographers’ work is displayed in the project “we are from here,” meant to raise awareness of gender issues, according to the exhibit’s website.
And in Morocco, IWD is cause for a night out on the town. Two telecommunications companies - Alcatel Lucent and Meditel – are giving out free movie tickets so that “all women can go to the cinema” for free on March 8 [though the press release notes (in French) that tickets are limited to female clients of the phone operators].
Progress Watch:
+ Four Middle East and North African (MENA) countries prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace, including Iraq, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. Laws outlawing domestic violence were recently passed in Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco, according to the UN.
Female representation in the labor force in MENA is nearly one-third of that of men.  The UN estimates close to 26 percent of women are a part of the labor force.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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