March 8 is celebrated worldwide as International Women's Day. This celebration is a form of appreciation of women’s achievement in various fields, ranging from politics to social spheres. At the same time, the celebration also shows that a lot of homework has to be done. One of them is the level of violence against women.
International Women's Day has a long history of protests or demonstrations by women in America and Europe to demand their rights in the early 20th century. March 8 was chosen to commemorate the massive demonstrations and strikes by women that took place in Russia on 8th of March, 2017.
In 1977, International Women's Day was inaugurated as an annual celebration by the United Nations –UN to fight for women's rights and to realize world peace.
According to UN Women Watch, this year's theme is "Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women's lives". This theme is inspired from the campaign #Metoo in the United States and other countries around the world such as France, Mexico, Italy, and even Arab countries. The campaign was conducted to show how widespread the incidence of violence and sexual harassment against women is, especially in the workplace which has happened so far. International Women's Day wants a movement to provide support to those who are victims of sexual harassment. In addition, this year's theme also wants the advocacy or legal assistance given to the survivors and punishment to the perpetrators.
One of the steps that can be taken to reduce violence against women is through empowerment. At the UN forum in New York in last September 2015, all member countries of the UN, including Indonesia along with UN Women launched ‘Planet 2030’. The target to be achieved in 2030 is gender equality 50:50 or conditions in which one country has created justice and equality between men and women in all aspects. This can be achieved by increasing the empowerment of women in various fields.
Empowerment is the key to eliminating violence and improving women's dignity. This empowerment can start from instilling values that respect the existence of women in the family. In addition, women need to be empowered economically, because the family economy becomes one of the causes of violence and women have a major role in the family economy.
Empowerment must be done since early, including in Indonesia. That is by instilling an even education and various skills for girls. This task is the responsibility of all parties to eliminate violence against women as a final result can be achieved.