A group of Ukrainian activists marked International Women’s Day by staging a topless demonstration in Istanbul against domestic violence.
Wearing graphic make-up to simulate injury, the women took to the streets in the centre of city.
Police moved in quickly to arrest members of the Femen group just minutes after the protest began.
In Afghanistan, the day allowed women to take stock of President Karzai’s backing of guidelines for women issued by the country’s powerful clerics council, which many believe marks a backward step for women’s rights in Afghanistan.
The guidelines issued on Friday by the Ulema Council of clerics, allow a man to beat his wife in some circumstances and prohibits women from studying with men.
Shukria Barikzai, an elected representative in Kabul, claims the guidelines go against the country’s constitution.
Women in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza celebrated the occasion with a national holiday.
Hanan Ashwari, PLO executive member, praised feminists for the changes that the movement has brought about despite significant odds.
“The women’s movement, as a result of hard work and the support of open minded men, has been able to change the reality and to break the barriers and borders that had been set in place,” Ashwari said.