International Women's Day is March 8, 2005. The 2005 theme is Gender Equality 2005: Building a More Secure Future. UNIFEM, the United Nations Development Fund for Women
covers 2005 International Women's Day and the 10th anniversary of the Beijing Conference in its February 2005 newsletter, Currents.
During the 49th session of the Commission on the Status Women (February 28-March 11, 2005) the Beijing Platform for Action will be assessed. The publication, Pathway to Gender Equality outlines how the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) can be used to understand and address the gender equality dimensions of the Millennium Development Goals.
20 films to Celebrate International Women's Day:
1. Solange, the Boatwoman - directed by Claude Da Silva and Modestre Houngbedji, Benin
Solange does her trade on waterside markets, with her canoe loaded with bamboos, food and other materials. She has not been to school, but she knows enough to carry on her mother's trade and to support her daughter with it.
2. Van Chan, A Cambodian Dancer - directed by Rithy Panh, Cambodia
At the fall of Pol Pot's regime, her husband is appointed chief of district of Barai and she becomes assistant director for culture and information. Hardly has happiness started when her husband is killed by the Red Khmers. Today, she is a teacher of traditional dance and is the only support of her family.
3. Mrs. Ibouna - directed by Sebastien Kamba, Congo
For a long time, Mrs. Ibouna suffered the curses and superstitions ascribed to albino people. She and people like her are marginalized and hardly accepted, surrounded by several myths such as being bearers of bad luck.
4. All My Landscapes - directed by Hrvoje Juvancic, Croatia
Zeljka Corak is an art historian, writer and translator. She published several books on architecture, urbanism and art history. In this documentary, we discover with her the architectural beauty of Zagreb and Dubrovnik and the beauty and meaning of the selected objects of Zelka Corak's setting.
5. Nana, the Course of a Farmer - directed by Simonette Rasoampanina, Madagascar
Nana's father died when she was three years old. At 7, like all other young girls, she was farming and selling the crop to get some money to go to school. For many years, Nana had to fight to receive education in order to have a better life.
6. Sunshine Color - directed by Amadou Moctar Beye, Senegal
A story of a Senegalese painter, this wonderful documentary presents the testimony of a captivating and an amazing woman, who prevails over the prejudice and traditional image of women in Africa.
7. Suzanne, a Heart of Dreams - directed by Amevi Dabla, Togo
At 50, Suzanne goes through her personal diary, which reveals her youth filled with tears, anguish and suffering. Today, she fights for children's causes in her country and spends her days with children suffering from behavioural disorder.
8. The Masks of Silence - directed by Fatma Skandrani, Tunisia
This documentary tells the story of a great multi-faceted actress capable of portraying many characters, including that of being a primary school teacher.
9. The Shadows of Freedom - directed by Sabina Kidwai, India
This documentary traces the history of three women from a Muslim family in India and how the issues of identity and gender clash with their own lives and that of their family.
10. Taller than the Mountains - directed by Farooq Beg, Pakistan
In the mountains of northern Pakistan, women are undernourished, underpaid and underprivileged. For most women, the struggle to live is a way of life, but through education, farming and development, they are achieving small miracles of equality and optimism.
11. Ladies' Special - directed by Nidhi Tuli, India
The "Ladies' Special" train in Mumbai becomes women's own space and their lifeline in the city.
12. Italga - directed by Osvalde Lewat, Cameroon
Ra-syn is a rap singer while Mike plays football in Cameroon's women's national team. Both are evolving in a society where their lifestyles are not very well accepted.
13. Traces, Women's Imprints - directed by Kate Lena Ndiaye, Burkina Faso
This documentary ventures into the discovery of three Kassena grandmothers, their granddaughters and the exclusive feminine art of the region's mural paintings.
14. A Taxi Woman in Sidi Bel Abbes - directed by Hadjadj Belkacem, Algeria
Following the death of her husband, Soumicha, a mother of three children, is forced to find employment. She becomes a female taxi driver in Sidi Bel-Abbes in Algeria, which is a job normally reserved for men. Through the eyes of Soumicha, we discover the city and see the many and contradictory faces of the Algerian society.
15. Right to Speak - directed by Do Pascal Sessouma, Burkina Faso
Local radios are nowadays educational and development tools serving namely women's groups and peasants. In Banfora, as a result of an extended campaign led by a women's organization through local radio, the public opinion became sensitive to the risk involved in the practice of excision.
16. Odhni - Beyond the Veil - directed by Umesh Bist, India
Exploited by contractors and middlemen for decades, the women workers were organized and formed a society, which was registered as a SEWA-society for the empowerment of women artisans. The whole market turned against them and orthodox Muslim families resented their daughters and sisters going to work.
17. The Dilemma of Eya - directed by Adjike Assouma, Togo
The Dilemma of Eya tells the story of a young woman, who is forced to follow traditional voodoo practices at the cost of her family, her education and her life. This film shows the consequences of preventing young women from being educated and having their own identity as well as shedding some light upon traditional voodoo practices.
18. Florence Barrigha, A Brief Encounter - directed by Fanta Regina Nacro, Togo
Florence Barrigha tells her story of how she reinvented her life to become one of the seven "Nana Benz" of Togo, who are businesswomen involved in trading fabrics and as a result, are able to afford their own Mercedes Benz. The expression "Nana Benz" means freedom, pride, success and courage of women.
19. Wave of Life - directed by Baigalmaa G, Mongolia
A lady, who was overwhelmed with the challenges she experienced in life, lost her home and farm one cold winter day. Feeding cattle was her only means to support her children and losing this occupation almost made her give up on life.
20. Yayoudokhandene, the Lady of Saint-Louis - directed by Lobe Nidaye, Senegal
Every day, Aminata pays a visit to fishermen and shopkeepers of fruits and vegetables. They help her find everything she needs to cook meals that she distributes to ill people at the local hospital.