MADRID (AP) — Marches and protests were held Friday across the globe to mark International Women's Day under the slogan #BalanceforBetter, with calls for a more gender-balanced world.
The day, sponsored by the United Nations since 1975, celebrates women's achievements and aims to further their rights.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told a commemoration at U.N. headquarters in New York that "remarkable progress on women's rights and leadership" in recent decades has sparked a backlash from "an entrenched patriarchy."
And he warned that "nationalist, populist and austerity agendas add to inequality with policies that curtail women's rights and cut social services."
"I do not accept a world that tells my granddaughters that economic equality can wait for their granddaughter's granddaughters," Guterres said. "I call for a new vision of equality and opportunity so that half the world's population can contribute to all the world's success."
Millions of others around the world demanded equality amid a persistent salary gap, violence and widespread inequality.
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A trio of women hold a sign with a message that reads in Spanish: "See how we end up," during a demonstration commemorating International Women's Day, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Friday, March 8, 2019. Latin Americans took the streets on Friday to shout louder than ever against male violence and show their determination to conquer free, safe and free abortion.
Pro-choice activists dressed as characters from the novel-turned-TV series “The Handmaid’s Tale,” hold placards with a message that reads in Spanish: "Legalize abortion now," marking International Women's Day in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Friday.
Protesters take cover at a shop after Turkish police fired tear gas at Istiklal, the main shopping street, in Istanbul, during the International Women's Day on Friday.
A Pakistani woman takes part in rally during the International Women's Day in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Friday.
A dog licks his owner Friday during a rally in commemoration of International Women's Day in Caracas, Venezuela.
A woman holds a banner reading, ''Cheer up (arm yourself) woman. Begins The Revolution'' during the International Women's Day in Pamplona, northern Spain, on Friday. Spanish women are marking International Women's Day with a full day strike and dozens of protests across the country against wage gap and gender violence.
Inna, right, holds a poster that reads: "I am a feminist trans-woman. What have you achieved?" at a rally Friday on the occasion of the International Women's Day in Kiev, Ukraine.
A woman activist wearing a headband with a sign that reads "enough" shouts slogans Friday as their group marks International Women's Day in Manila, Philippines. The group criticized Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, opposed martial law in Mindanao and called for equal rights.
Female demonstrators show a banner Friday during an International Women's Day march in Pamplona, northern Spain.
A women attends a rally Friday to mark the International Women's Day in Madrid.
Women participate Friday in an International Women's Day rally in Quito, Ecuador. The march was concentrated in front of the Labor Ministry, to demand labor improvements and more employment for women.
A woman carries a poster with the likeness of slain councilwoman Marielle Franco during the March in Defense of Women's Rights, in celebration of International Women's Day, in Brasilia, Brazil, on Friday.
Women walk during a rally Friday to mark International Women's Day in Guatemala City. During the march people remembered 41 girls that died in a fire two years ago at the state-run Virgen de la Asuncion youth shelter.
Women sing slogans during a march Friday to commemorate International Women's Day in Asuncion, Paraguay. Thousands of people marched in Asuncion's downtown to demand women's rights.