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World celebrates International Women's Day

People around the world celebrate International Women's Day, staging protests against women's rights abuses.

Activists protests against women's rights abuses Credit: Reuters

The UN writes that the day, celebrated on March 8, is an occasion to commemorate achievements in women's rights and to call for further change.

People form a female symbol to mark International Women's Day in Manila Credit: REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

The celebration dates back to the beginning of the 20th Century and has been observed by the United Nations since 1975.

Women's advocacy group GABRIELA staged a rally in Quezon, Philippines Credit: REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

International Women's Day: Twitter reaction

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Malala Day to call for education for all girls and women

A global day to call for the education of all girls and women is to be held in honour of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taliban, it has been announced.

Malala leaves the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in January. Credit: REUTERS/Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham/Handout

Her father Ziauddin and former prime minister Gordon Brown outlined plans for Malala Day as they appeared at the Women of the World Festival at London's Southbank Centre on International Women's Day.

Mr Brown said the issue of universal education for girls was in desperate need of a "liberation movement and a freedom fight for change".

Malala Day will be held on the girl's 16th birthday, July 12, and will be celebrated with a youth assembly at the United Nations in New York.It is hoped that young people from around the world will mark the day, aimed at providing education for the 32 million girls who do not currently have access.

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Delhi gang-rape victim awarded posthumous award

An Indian student who was gang-raped and murdered has been awarded the US State Department's International Women of Courage Award, a government statement said.

The case of the 23-year-old woman, dubbed "Nirbhaya" (Fearless) by the media, who was beaten, raped and tortured by six men on a bus in New Delhi in December, sparked a public outcry. She died of her injuries after being thrown out of the bus.

The award will be presented by Secretary of State John Kerry and First Lady Michelle Obama. The US State Department said:

"Known to India and the world as 'Nirbhaya', the courageous 23-year-old physiotherapy intern whose brutal gang rape on a moving bus in Delhi in December inspired widespread protests, has become the foundation of a popular movement to end violence against women in India."

International Women's Day celebrated

Venezuelan soldiers march during a military parade to commemorate the failed coup against Chavez, in Feb 2012 Credit: Reuters/ Jorge Silva

International Women's Day will be celebrated in different ways across some parts of the world today.

The day is an official holiday in dozens of countries, including Afghanistan, China, Vietnam and Zambia.

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