It's International Women's Day (hear that, ladies? we get a day!), and the United Nations has chosen gender parity as this year's theme. The international body wants to speed up progress towards reaching goals such as ending discrimination and violence against women and providing equal access to education.
"International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities," reads a U.N. release.
It's also a time to mansplain and make awkward comments about women.
An open letter from Vladimir Putin
Can women have it all? Russian President Vladimir Putin has some thoughts, which he shared in an ode to women.
"Dear women," it opens. "From all my heart, I congratulate you on International Women's Day."
Thanks? I mean, we didn't really have too much a say in the matter, but okay.
The entire thing is quite the read. Here's a highlight:
Dear women, you possess a mysterious power: you keep up with everything, juggle a myriad of tasks, and yet remain tender, unforgettable and full of charm. You bring goodness and beauty, hope and light into this world. We are proud of you and we love you.
Is Putin asking every Russian woman out?
Happy Mother's Day! I mean International Women's Day!
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan — who has previously said he doesn't believe men and women were equal — weighed in on a day dedicated to gender equality.
Let's see what he had to say:
"I know there will be some who will be annoyed, but for me a woman is above all a mother," Erdogan told an audience of women in the Turkish capital of Ankara, AFP reported.
This opens the door for follow-up questions, such as: If a woman is not a mother, then is she a woman? Does a childless woman exist? Am I, a woman with no child, writing this blogpost? Should I change the byline to my mother's name?
Also, starting a sentence with "I know there will be some who will be annoyed" is just a fantastic way to begin a mansplaination.
A good ol' #YesAllMen joke
Cambodia celebrates International Women's Day as a public holiday.
And then he told a real zinger.
Sen, better known for savaging his political enemies than joking about family life, said many men in Cambodia are oppressed by wives who do not let them go to wedding parties for fear that they would eye prettier women. He said he didn’t think he was being extreme in demanding that an association be set up to promote men’s rights.
Guess there aren't many men's rights activist groups in Cambodia.
If you're a woman in parliament, let me hear some noise! *Crickets*
This was a nice attempt, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Truly.
What was meant as a gesture of respect toward women ended up reminding India that it needed to improve female representation in politics.
[Modi’s] call for only female lawmakers to address the Indian parliament on International Women’s Day included silence — because there weren’t enough women to speak.
Of 543 elected members in the lower house, only 62 are women — or just 12 percent. The global average is 22 percent for women in Parliament, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
The female lawmakers who did speak before the assembly Tuesday focused on improving education for girls, allowing women to access Hindu temples and pushing for legislation requiring that at least 33 percent of lawmakers be women.
As AP reported, "not all of the women in the assembly were prepared to speak, but after all those who wanted to speak had taken their turns, there was enough time left for the Speaker to ask the men in the house for input on the day’s agenda."
Let's hear what the men have to say about today.