A small group of women gathered at noon Tuesday on the Clemente Bridge to mark International Women’s Day with signs and a petition. This is the 100th annual International Women’s Day celebration and the second time it has been celebrated with the “join me on the bridge” effort sponsored by Women for Women International. Local Organizer Munah Pavlik says women gathered on bridges in cities around the world today. “Women are builders of peace, women build bridges of peace so all around the world women are gathering on bridges to highlight that women are peace builders,” says Pavlik.
The group in Pittsburgh was especially trying to draw attention to the women of Afghanistan. “By the end of the year the NATO forces and the American Forces are going to be leaving Afghanistan and we want to make sure that these women have a voice in the peace process.” Pavlik says she worries that all of the freedoms Afghani women have gained in recent years will be lost following the transition.
Pavlik adds war torn regions are especially dangerous for women. “75-percent of the civilians killed in war are women and children, civilians now account for more than 70-percent of casualties in conflicts,” says Pavlik. She says that means it is more dangerous to be a woman in a war torn country than it is to be a solider.
Pavlik says she hopes to expand to more bridges next year.