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VOA English

March 8th honors girls
and women around
the world and brings
attention to issues
affecting their lives.

This is the VOA Special English Development Report. 

International Women's Day is celebrated each year on March eighth. Groups around the world use this day to honor the progress of women. They also use the day to call attention to the social, political and economic problems facing women and girls. Among the issues are forced marriage, sexual abuse, poverty and a lack of education. 

The United Nations says one in five women worldwide will be the victim of a sexual assault in her lifetime. It says rape and domestic violence are major causes of disability and death among women age fifteen to forty-four. More than one hundred thirty million females in Africa and other areas of the world have had their sexual organs cut for cultural reasons.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says the world's goals for peace, security, and sustainable development are at risk until women and girls are freed from poverty and injustice. More than one billion people in the world live in extreme poverty. And the United Nations says the majority are female.   

National Woman's Day was first celebrated in the United States on February twenty eighth, nineteen hundred and nine. The next year a women's rights leader from Germany suggested the idea of an international celebration. Clara Zetkin said women around the world should set aside one day every year to protest oppression and inequality. She suggested the idea at an International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen.

More than one million people attended events in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland during the first International Women's Day. It took place in nineteen eleven

In nineteen fourteen the date for the observance was changed to March eighth in honor of an historic protest for women's rights. Fifteen thousand women marched in New York City on March eighth nineteen hundred and eight. They marched to demand better pay, shorter work hours and the right to vote.

And that's the VOA Special English Development Report, written by June Simms. I'm Steve Ember.


to honor: para honrar
facing: que enfrentan, enfrentados por
among the issues: entre los problemas
forced marriage: casamiento forzado
abuse: abuso
poverty: pobreza
lack of: falta de
one in five: una de cada cinco
worldwide: en todo el mundo
assault: agresión, ataque
rape: violación
major causes: las principales causas
disability: incapacidad
cultural reasons: motivos culturales
goals: objetivos

sustainable development: desarrollo sustentable
at risk: en riesgo, en peligro
freed from: liberadas de
poverty and injustice: la pobreza e injusticia
female: del sexo femenino
set aside one day: establecer un día
oppression: opresión
inequality: desigualdad
attended: asistieron a
it took place: tuvo lugar, ocurrió
nineteen eleven: 1911
observance: celebración
to demand better pay: para exigir mejores sueldos
the right to vote: el derecho al voto