From the streets of Manila to a school in East London, people around the world marked International Women’s Day on Sunday with calls to end exploitation and increase equality. But tensions marred some celebrations, with police arresting demonstrators at a rally in Kyrgyzstan and separatists detonating a bomb during a ceremony in Cameroon, the AP reports. No one was hurt in the attack. "In many different ways or forms, women are being exploited and taken advantage of," Arlene Brosas, the representative of a Filipino advocacy group said during a rally that drew hundreds to the area near the presidential palace. Protesters called for higher pay and job security, and demanded that President Rodrigo Duterte respect women’s rights. Around the world:
- Pakistan: In Pakistan, women rallied in cities across the country, despite petitions filed in court seeking to stop them. The opposition was stirred in part by controversy over a slogan used in last year’s march: "My Body, My Choice." The main Islamic political party, Jamaat-e-Islami, organized its own rallies to counter the march.
- Chile: One of the largest demonstrations occurred in Chile, where tens of thousands flooded the streets of the capital with dancing, music, and angry demands for gender equality and an end to violence against women. "They kill us, they rape us and nobody does anything," some chanted.
- Spain: Thousands of women also marched in Madrid and other Spanish cities, despite concern over the spread of the new coronavirus. A massive banner reading, "With rights, without barriers. Feminists without frontiers" in Spanish was carried at the front of the march in the capital.
- London: At a school in East London, meanwhile, the duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, joined students in listening to speeches about women labor activists, and urged both girls and boys to respect the contributions of women every day of the year.
- Cameroon: The detonation of explosives triggered panic at a ceremony in Bamenda, an English-speaking town in the northwest of Cameroon. Suspicions focused on separatists who had vowed to disrupt the events. No one was killed or wounded.
- Kyrgyzstan: Police in Bishek, the capital city of Kyrgyzstan, detained about 60 people after a group of unidentified men broke up what authorities called an unauthorized rally.
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