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Asia uses Women's Day to plead for peace, political clout

Peace, political clout and workplace protection were trumpeted across Asia as thousands celebrated International Women's Day.

india Updated: Mar 08, 2003 19:39 IST

Peace, political clout and workplace protection were trumpeted across Asia today as thousands celebrated International Women's Day.

In Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai, an outspoken advocate of greater freedom for women, was to host a major event in the capital Kabul, which was to coincide with the release of a new textbook by the UN Children's Fund designed to improve female literacy levels in the poverty-stricken nation.

Sri Lankan women have staked a claim in helping guide their fragile nation out of conflict, with a high-level panel of women tapped by Norwegian peace brokers and local negotiators offering guidelines to govern aspects of the peace bid.

Some 5,000 people took to the streets of Seoul seeking greater funding for gender-equality policies and gathering signatures for a campaign to press for the abolition of South Korea's family registry system, under which only men can register as head of family.

Women in the Indonesian capital Jakarta used the International Women's Day to chastize their female president Meegawati Sukarnoputri for not paying enough attention to somen's rights.

The desire for peace in Iraq figured prominently in demonstrations across Asia today, with leftist women's groups co-opting celebrations in Manila with protests against the looming US-led military campaign.

Women's groups in Taiwan expressed sympathy for the large number of Iraqi women and children likely to suffer in war and urged their government to drop its support of US-led military action.

First Published: Mar 08, 2003 19:35 IST