NEW YORK, March 7 (UPI) -- In 1975 -- International Women's Year -- the United Nations began the tradition of recognizing March 8 annually as International Women's Day.
Each year, the UN selects a theme to promote the day. For 2014, the theme is "Equality for women is progress for all."
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expounded on the 2014 theme in a statement recognizing International Women's Day. He reflected that not only is gender equality a fundamental human right but it also has practical implications "because progress in so many other areas depends on it."
"Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth. Companies with more women leaders perform better. Peace agreements that include women are more durable. Parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support. The evidence is clear: equality for women means progress for all."
The secretary-general will be joined by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the UN on Friday for a UN observance of International Women's Day.