International Women's Day: Strikes and protests around the world

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Indonesian women danced in Yogyakarta to mark International Women's Day

US congresswomen have walked out of work, joining women around the world who are going on strike as part of International Women's Day.

The move by House Democrats is part of a "Day Without a Woman" strike, designed to highlight how crucial women are to the US national workforce.

"I think it's important women in Congress show our solidarity," said Congresswoman Lois Frankel.

Schools in some districts were forced to close after staff walked out.

International Women's Day has grown from a labour movement with its roots in a 1908 protest to a UN-recognised annual event.

On Wednesday, thousands of women in the US are expected not to work or spend money, to demonstrate their economic strength and impact on society.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption A woman holds a placard at an International Women's Day protest in Kiev, Ukraine

President Donald Trump said on Twitter he had "tremendous respect for women" and urged his Twitter followers to "honour the critical role" they play in society.

Mr Trump has been accused of sexism and denied a series of claims of sexual assault. Millions took to the streets after his inauguration for the Women's March.

In Ireland, women across the country went on strike and wore black to protest against the country's restrictive abortion laws.

Solidarity protests were held in London, Amsterdam and elsewhere to call for Irish laws to be changed.

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Women in Poland staged rallies and marches to demand protection against violence, equal rights and respect. They were joined by actress Jessica Chastain, who was in the city for a screening of her latest film.

In Germany, airline Lufthansa said six all-female crews would flying in support of the day. Just 6% of pilots in the airline's parent company Lufthansa are women.

Sweden's women's football team replaced the names on the back of their jersey's with tweets from Swedish women "who have struggled to gain ground in their respective field".

Image copyright EPA Image caption Turkish women in Ankara held a protest against an upcoming referendum to coincide with International Women's Day

Iceland's government said that it would begin to make employers prove they offer equal pay regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality or nationality, becoming the first country to do so.

And in Finland, the country announced a a $160,000 (€150,000) International Gender Equality Prize to be given to "a dedicated defender and builder of equality".


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