Afghan soldiers mark International Women’s Day at Kabul’s Amani High School. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images)

Yes, there is a Google Doodle. But around the world, people took the celebration of International Women’s Day from the virtual realm into the streets — marching, chanting slogans, weeping and buying flowers to celebrate the day from the Philippines to Afghanistan to Poland and beyond.


Friba Hameed, 30, an Afghan police officer, in front of a mural of herself, painted by an independent artist, outside the main gate of a police precinct to mark International Women’s Day in Kabul. (Rahmat Gul/AP)

Celebrated on March 8 for more than 100 years, International Women’s Day comes with a U.N.-approved theme. This year’s is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality” — a reference to the U.N.’s “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” the goals of which “seek to realize the human rights of all and to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.”


Former comfort woman Chen Lien-hua during a ceremony unveiling the nameplate of a museum dedicated to Taiwan’s “comfort women” — women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese during World War II. (Fabian Hamacher/Reuters)

In the Philippines, a women’s group celebrated a court decision that cleared the way for a female presidential candidate to run. In Taiwan, a former “comfort woman” — a woman forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese during World War II — appeared at a museum memorializing her ordeal. In India, protesters demanded equal representation for women. In Bangladesh, garment workers demanded equal pay, an end to violence against women and safe working conditions. And in Poland, men bought flowers.


Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou, fourth from left, and former comfort woman Chen Lien-hua, fourth from right, at the ceremony. (Fabian Hamacher/Reuters)

“We have shattered so many glass ceilings we created a carpet of shards,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement. “Now we are sweeping away the assumptions and bias of the past so women can advance across new frontiers.”


Philippine presidential candidate Grace Poe at an International Women’s Day rally in Manila. (Erik De Castro/Reuters)

“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights,” political activist and renowned feminist Gloria Steinem said in a statement.


A man carries roses at the Sprzymierzonych Square in Szczecin, Poland. From early morning, men were buying flowers to mark International Women’s Day. (Marcin Bielecki/EPA)

A flower seller in Poland. (Marcin Bielecki/EPA)

Women’s rights activists take selfies with activist-turned-politician Soni Sori and a victim of an acid attack, center with face covered, during a protest march on International Women’s Day in New Delhi. (Altaf Qadri/AP)

A woman at a protest on International Women’s Day in New Delhi. (Altaf Qadri/AP)

Supporters of Pakistan’s Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) rally on International Women’s Day in Lahore. Women in conservative Pakistan have fought for their rights for decades, in a country where so-called honor killings and acid attacks remain commonplace. (Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images)

The rally in Lahore. (Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images)
March 8. is International Women's Day. Take a look at the women's rights movement through the years. (Reuters)