UN Observes International Women’s Day in Bangkok on 7 March

In celebration of International Women’s Day, 8 March, the United Nations system in Thailand will organize a special event on Friday, 7 March 2008 at the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC).
This year’s global theme is “Investing in Women and Girls”, which highlights the importance of financial and other resources for the promotion of women’s empowerment and the multiplier effect of investing in women on economic growth and development.

Increasing resources for women’s empowerment, particularly in education, has far-reaching and inter-generational social and economic benefits for families and societies at large and contributes to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and other development commitments.

The Asian and Pacific region loses US$ 42-47 billion per year due to restrictions on women’s access to employment opportunities and US$16-30 billion a year as a result of gender gaps in education, according to a study last year by the United Nations’ regional arm – the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

The special event will feature two keynote presentations on financing for gender equality, a panel dialogue, an exhibition, and a film screening. The keynote speakers are H.E. Ms. Latha Reddy, Ambassador of India to Thailand, and H.E. Mr. Pieter Jozef Theofile Marres, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Thailand.

The dialogue panel will include:
Ms. Maytinee Bhongsvej, Executive Director, Association for the Promotion of the Status of Women
Mr. Vitit Muntarbhorn, Professor of Law, Chulalongkorn University
Ms. Chen Xiaoyan, Gender and Development Studies, Asian Institute of Technology
Mr. Larry Jagan, freelance journalist and media consultant

The event will additionally feature a briefing on the United Nations Secretary-General's Campaign to End Violence against Women. The recently launched multi-year campaign will focus on global advocacy, UN leadership by example, and strengthened partnership at the national and regional levels. The UN estimates that at least one out of every three women in the world is likely to be beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime, and one in five women will become a victim of rape or attempted rape.

Note to editors: You or your representatives are cordially invited to attend the observance of International Women’s Day from 09.30 hrs to 12.00 hrs on Friday, 7 March 2008 at the United Nations Conference Centre, Rajadamnern Nok Avenue, Bangkok.