Roberts: A night of 1,000 dinners

BY GUEST COLUMN | MARCH 06, 2013 5:00 AM

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March 8 is just another day. Another day in which a woman is killed every six hours in South Africa by an intimate partner and a woman in Brazil is sexually assaulted every 15 seconds. A day where on average, 36 women and girls will be raped in the Congo as a tactic of war. March 8 is part of another year in which the cost of intimate-partner violence in the United States alone exceeds $4.1 billion for direct medical and health-care services, and the productivity losses reach nearly $1.8 billion.

But this day is not just another day of statistics. March 8 is International Women’s Day; a day to stand up, speak out, and celebrate the economic, political, and social achievements of women. This is a day to recognize the role that women play in every aspect of every society in every corner of the globe and commit to striving for further change.

Violence against women is a global phenomenon. International Women’s Day is a time to recognize the strength women have and the strides they are making on a daily basis, despite the discrimination and violence they face.

On March 8 every year, thousands of cities around the globe, including Iowa City, choose to participate in International Women’s Day by hosting events and rallies to speak out against violence against women.

To celebrate the lives and progress of women, the Iowa United Nations Association will host a Night of 1,000 Dinners at 6 p.m. Thursday. We will recognize U.N.-funded organizations that are working every day to end the violence and provide women with critical resources to promote recovery, prosperity, and advocacy. A silent auction will be held at the Night of 1,000 Dinners to benefit the U.N. Trust Fund to End Violence against Women and promote the idea that local initiatives to stop the violence can have a significant global impact.

By hosting this event in honor of International Women’s Day, the Iowa U.N. Assocition and the Iowa City community have an opportunity to bring the issue of violence against women into the spotlight and highlight the importance of local advocacy and action for a global cause.

Emily Roberts
U.N. Association of Iowa

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