March 8th: If ever there was a year to mark International Women’s Day…

As we came together to mark International Women’s Day last year, we had no idea that the world was about to shut down and that hard-won women’s rights were about to be put to the test during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the past year, because of the pandemic, we have seen the number of women experiencing gender-based violence go up, the hours women dedicate to unpaid care work skyrocket, threats faced by women human rights defenders increase, marginalized groups including sex workers become further marginalized, access to sexual and reproductive health services decrease, and the number of women in the paid labour force plummet.

International Women’s Day, which every year falls on March 8th, is always a time to take stock of feminist accomplishments over the past year and re-commit ourselves to the work ahead. This year we have much to take stock of, and much to re-commit ourselves to. The coming year will continue to be shaped by the pandemic response, and it will also be shaped by pandemic recovery. The pandemic has forced us to re-think society, and now is the time to re-think, re-envision, and re-build a more just and equitable world.


  1. WATCH A MOVIE. Watch “Nasrin,” a new documentary about Iranian women human rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh, which features many other Iranian women’s rights activists on whose behalf Amnesty has advocated in the past, and features the activism of Amnesty supporters from around the world. Join an online discussion with the makers of the “Nasrin” documentary and women human rights defenders from Iran. Click here to register to screen the film at your leisure from March 9-16 (limit of 12-0 registrants), and to participate in the online discussion on March 16.
  2. READ A BOOK. Read “The Dime Box” by Karen GroseAn accompanying Amnesty Book Club discussion guide is coming soon!
  3. DEEPEN YOUR ACTIVISM TO HELP END VIOLENCE AGAINST INDIGENOUS WOMEN, GIRLS AND TWO-SPIRIT PEOPLE. Read our new campaign guide being released on March 8,and follow its guidance to deepen your activism.
  4. ACT IN SOLIDARITY WITH NASRIN SOTOUDEH. Take action in support of Nasrin, who was temporarily released from prison in November after contracting COVID-19, only to be ordered back from prison before she had recovered.
  5. ACT IN SOLIDARITY WITH LOUJAIN AL-HATHLOUL. Renowned Saudi women human rights defender Loujain al-Hathlou was convicted in a Saudi terrorism court in December and was released from prison on February 10. Her trial hearing to appeal her conviction is March 2. Write a letter now to help quash Loujain’s sentence!
  6. ACT IN SOLIDARITY WITH WOMEN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS IN SAUDI ARABIA. Take action to support all the women human rights defenders who continue to be criminalized in Saudi Arabia.



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