Rallies in Asia mark Women's Day

Thousands of women activists are staging marches and demonstrations in Asia to mark International Women's Day.

Hundreds of activists in pink and purple shirts protested in downtown Manila against Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, calling him among the worst violators of women's rights in Asia.

Protest leaders sang and danced in a boisterous rally in Plaza Miranda, handing red and white roses to mothers, sisters and widows of drug suspects slain under Duterte's crackdown on illegal drugs.

In Myanmar, embattled leader Aung San Suu Kyi urged women to build peaceful democracies using their strength in politics, economics and social issues.

In Europe, protesters in Spain got an early start, launching a 24-hour strike and calling on women to stop working, whether at offices or at home.

And in China, students at Tsinghua University used the occasion to make light of a proposed constitutional amendment to scrap term limits for the country's president.

One banner joked that a boyfriend's term should also have no limits, while another said, "A country cannot exist without a constitution, as we cannot exist without you!"

China's ceremonial legislature is poised to pass a constitutional amendment to allow President Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely. Photos of the students' banners, like other content about the proposed amendment, were quickly censored on social media.

Hundreds of South Koreans, many wearing black and holding black (hash)MeToo signs, rallied in central Seoul. They called for sex offenders to be brought to justice, and for action on issues including the gender pay gap.

Suu Kyi's speech marked the third International Women's Day celebrated in Myanmar under a civilian government. She led her party to a landslide victory in 2015 elections and leads the government, even though the country's constitution bars her from the presidency.

"A country's human rights values will be enhanced when women are granted their rights," she said.

Australian Associated Press

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