A man carries flowers on International Women's Day in the city center of Skopje, North Macedonia, March 8, 2023. (Photo by Tomislav Georgiev/Xinhua)
The day was also marked by protests in some countries as people called for better protection of women's rights.
ROME, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Multiple European leaders on Wednesday spoke in favor of gender equality on International Women's Day, which falls on March 8.
In Germany, Chancellor Olaf Scholz called for women to have equal rights "in all areas of life, whether at work, in the family, or in politics."
Meanwhile, Italy's first female Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said that it was the country's "duty to knock down the hurdles that do not allow all women to be able to express their priceless potential to the full."
Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister of Spain, underlined that his government promotes "laws in favor of true and effective equality between men and women." On Tuesday, Spain passed a parity law requiring that women and men each make up at least 40 percent of boards of directors at major companies, as well as in the government's cabinet.
People buy flowers on International Women's Day in the city center of Skopje, North Macedonia, March 8, 2023. (Photo by Tomislav Georgiev/Xinhua)
In France, social media sites paid homage to many of the country's best-known female icons. The country's President Emmanuel Macron took the opportunity to praise the writer and activist Gisele Halimi, nearly two years after her death at the age of 93. "Our republic is freer, livelier, and fairer thanks to you," he wrote.
However, the day was also marked by protests in some countries.
In Italy, demonstrations in Rome emphasized the rising number of femicides in the country, with protestors calling on police to do more to protect women.
Protesters in Germany called on the country's government to do more to advocate for women's rights in the developing world, while rallies in Spain focused on issues from consent to education and transexual rights.
UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous (L, Front) briefs a Security Council high-level open debate on women, peace and security at the UN headquarters in New York, on March 7, 2023. (Manuel Elias/UN Photo/Handout via Xinhua)■