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Celebration​ ​of​ ​International​ ​Women's​ ​Day 2014

On 8 March 2014, the national celebration of the International Women's Day took place in Vangaindrano. The official ceremony organized by the Ministry of Population and Social Affairs and its partners, whose United Nations System was held under the patronage of the First Lady Voahangy RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA sponsored by the Minister of Population Olga VAOMALALA RAMAROSON and in the presence of the UNFPA Representative Mrs. Agathe LAWSON. 

This year, the theme of International Women's Day is "Equality for women is progress for all" This theme seeks to highlight how gender equality, women's empowerment, the full enjoyment of their human rights and the eradication of poverty are essential for the economic and social development of women first, of those who are around her and of the community in general. It also emphasizes the primary role of women as actors in development. 

"The path of development is all outlined, I appeal to all entities to create an environment conducive to the development and respect of the values of Malagasy women, " said Mrs. Voahangy RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA, wife of His Excellency the President of the Republic . On the occasion of International Women's Day 2014, the population of Vangaindrano was sensitized through several activities, including the distribution of films, organization of talent contest, artistic events and exhibition stands. A roundtable on the theme of the celebration was also held the day before with the participation of local authorities, traditional leaders, women's associations and members of civil society in the region. 

With the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expiring in 2015, International Women's Day is also an opportunity to report on the challenges and progress made for women and girls, including the annual Commission on the Status of Women to be held from 10 to 21 March 2014 in New York. 

Madagascar recently published the report of the Millennium Development Goals national monitoring survey. This showed improvements in the level of girls’ education and the possibility for women to engage in paid work. However, much remains to be done to achieve full gender equality because too many women still work in the informal and unprotected sector, many adolescent girls are withdrawn from school, women's political and civic participation remain minimal, about 10 women per day die giving life three of which are under 18 years old. Three Malagasy women out of 10 suffer violence. This situation must change. 

"As gender equality is making progress for all, we must continue and step up our efforts and be even bolder when we are less than two years away from the Millennium Development Goals. Satisfaction of the rights of women and girls still deserves strong action by all of us, men, women, citizens and leaders at all levels of the public sector, the private sector, civil society, decision-makers and donors, "said Ms. Agathe Lawson, UNFPA Representative in Madagascar in her speech. 

International Women's Day is an opportunity for all of us to renew our commitment to promote equality between women and men. As Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, reminded us of this celebration: 

"Together, we must ensure that: Everyone is safe and free from gender-based violence. The fundamental rights of EACH are respected, including their reproductive rights. Everyone is economically independent and in all respects, through education, equal opportunities, participation and leadership.