International Women's Day, 2014

International Women’s Day (IWD) - a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future - is celebrated on 8 March each year. The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) reaffirms its support for its valuable objectives.

The theme of the 2014 International Women’s Day is: ‘Inspiring Change’, encouraging ‘advocacy for women's advancement everywhere in every way … it calls for challenging the status quo for women's equality and vigilance inspiring positive change’ (SOURCE:

FIGO President, Professor Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, said:

‘FIGO - the only global organisation bringing together gynecological and obstetrical societies from 125 countries/territories - has as its vision women of the world achieving the highest possible standards of physical, mental, reproductive and sexual health and wellbeing throughout their lives.

Advocacy for advancement - inspiring change - in women’s health is truly an integral part of its mission, and a core component of its global projects, which span many critical areas, including the need for provision of safe motherhood and newborn health; post-partum contraception; the prevention of unsafe abortion; better practices in post-partum haemorrhage, pre-eclampsia and eclampsia; Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health; and building the capacity of fistula surgeons.’

In addition, FIGO’s 125 member societies are a powerful channel for advocacy and change, and can play a major role in promoting policy and practice in women’s health in their respective countries to bolster efforts to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 4 (to reduce child mortality) and 5 (to improve maternal health). Maternal and newborn health constitutes a major international health and development issue in low-resource countries, and MDGs 4 and 5 will not be achieved without a greater effort.

National societies of obstetrics and gynecology can promote positive scientific exchange, help improve the quality of reproductive healthcare and help address a broader women’s health agenda through awarenessraising, public education and strategic partnerships.

Professor Arulkumaran ended:

‘In 2014, women still struggle for gender equality - a fundamental human right, and one of the eight MDGs. In response, FIGO continues to encourage all efforts to raise their status, and is committed to promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights and services through education, research and advocacy, as well as through the provision of accessible, efficient, affordable, sustainable and comprehensive reproductive health services.’