Nohelia Balmaceda, 17, attends a boxing class at the National Institute of Sport in Managua March 4, 2015. A study done by the Psychology alumni of the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN-Managua) revealed that about 1 million women in Nicaragua suffer from domestic violence. International Women's Day will be commemorated on March 8. Picture taken March 4, 2015. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas (NICARAGUA - Tags: ANNIVERSARY SPORT BOXING EDUCATION SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
International Women's Day was marked on Sunday with tributes aimed at empowering women, reflecting on how far the world has come in the quest for gender equality — and how far it still has to go.
In New York City, where International Women's Day began in 1909, about 1,000 people gathered at the United Nations for a march to Times Square.
"Today, you are marching in the footsteps of generations of feminists," New York City's first lady, Chirlane McCray, told the crowd. "This march started more than a century ago, but we still have a long way to go before we get to equality."
That sentiment was echoed online, where thousands of women and men were urged to replace their social media avatars with a female silhouette and use the hashtag #NotThere — a symbolic act to show that while much progress has been made in the fight for women's rights, "we're NOT THERE" — at least, not yet.
The initiative, a collaboration between the Clinton Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was championed by celebrities with big online followings, including Cameron Diaz and Kate Upton.
#NotThere was not the only digital tribute to women on Sunday.
Google celebrated International Women’s Day with a doodle featuring women in various high-profile careers, including astronauts, engineers, scientists and judges. The search engine linked to another campaign — #DearMe — asking women to create a GIF that answered the question: "What advice would you give your younger self?"
Meanwhile, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga were among 36 prominent women who signed a petition calling on the G7 and the African Union to tackle female poverty, Agence France-Press reports.
Meryl Streep, Charlize Theron and Rosamund Pike also signed the letter addressed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who are each hosting a women's summit later this year.
"If your summits reach the right agreements, great financing and momentum around girls' and women's empowerment can be placed at the heart of the new global goals," the letter reads. "Poverty is sexist, and we won't end it unless we face up to the fact that girls and women get a raw deal, and until leaders and citizens around the world work together for real change.
"If we get this right, we could help lift every girl and woman out of poverty by 2030 — and by doing so we will lift everyone. Get this wrong and extreme poverty, inequality and instability might spread in the most vulnerable regions, impacting all our futures."