Friday, March 8, 2013

International Women's Day 2013: End Violence Against Women, Gaining Momentum, Remembering Women In Prison (including Members of Music Group Pussy Riot and Protestors Arrested in Moscow Today)


The UN theme for International Women's Day 2013 is "A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women," while International Women's Day 2013 has declared the year's theme as The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum.

LInks here and here

On 2013 International Women's Day, the [International Committee of the Red Cross](ICRC)draw attention to the plight of women in prison. All over the world, women and girls living behind bars often face particular hardship in terms of protection, privacy and access to basic services, including health care.

20 WOMEN ARRESTED IN MOSCOW FOLLOWING PROTEST MARKING INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY AND THE CONTINUED DETENTION OF MEMBERS OF MUSIC GROUP "PUSSY RIOT"

In reflection of the above, 20 women were arrested in Moscow today following a protest of the continuing incarceration of members of the Russian music group, Pussy Riot, who were themselves arrested for protests against Vladimir Putin.

"MOSCOW -- At least 20 supporters of Russia's feminist protest collective Pussy Riot have been detained at a Moscow demonstration marking International Women's Day.


Dozens of activists staged the protest outside the Moscow headquarters of Russia's prison service on March 8.

They held placards calling for the release of two jailed members of Pussy Riot, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina. Both women are serving two-year prison sentences after being convicted of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred."

Tolokonnikova's husband, Pyotr Verzilov, was among those at the demonstration.

"March 8, as Nadya [Tolokonnikova] said in her message to me today, is not just Women's Day but it is also the day of women's liberation," Verzilov said. "It is indeed very important, because Nadya and Masha [Alyokhina's] situation shows that women's rights still need to be fought for."

Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina, along with a third member of Pussy Riot, Yekaterina Samutsevich, were arrested in February 2012 after staging a protest performance against President Vladimir Putin inside Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral.

Samutsevich, who received a suspended sentence, attended the demonstration as well. She held a giant placard reading "Freedom for Pussy Riot."

"It's an act of support for Nadya and Masha and, of course, [March 8] is a day of solidarity in the fight for women's rights," Samutsevich said. Many of the activists adorned their placards with pictures of flowers to honor International Women's Day, a Soviet-era festival that is still a national holiday in Russia and celebrated with enthusiasm.

The protest came after the 23-year-old Tolokonnikova asked a regional court for her release on parole on several grounds -- including the fact that she has a 5-year-old daughter.

Meanwhile, police arrested several other feminist protesters in a separate rally at Moscow's central Novopushkinsky Park on March 8. Dozens of feminist activists and members of the opposition Yabloko party gathered in the park to demand equal rights for women in Russia.

Police intervened at that demonstration and began arresting people after a group whose members identify themselves as Russian Orthodox Christian activists confronted and scuffled with the feminist demonstrators.

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