Women's groups around the world mark International Women's Day on 8 March as an occasion to recognize decades of struggle in the areas of equality, justice, peace and development . Millions of women throughout the world are deprived of their basic human rights and discriminated against simply because they are women.
Human rights organizations say armed combatants rape women as a weapon of war, often with no consequences for the perpetrators. Groups like Human Rights Watch report men in some countries beat women in the home, and that governments do not intervene to punish their batterers. Women may be bought, sold and forced to work in prostitution as a direct result of inequalities found in their home countries. In some instances, governments do little to protect women and punish the traffickers.
In this series, VOA correspondents look at the status of women around the world.