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International Women's Day 2018: How did male world leaders respond?

Today, all around the world, International Women's Day (IWD) is being observed, with the greatest global response yet.

Today, all around the world, International Women's Day (IWD) is being observed, with the greatest global response yet.

Protests are being had, campaigns for progress – such as The Telegraph's own call to action – have been launched; and events that celebrate the achievements of women are taking place everywhere. 

While March 8th is always a terrific opportunity to herald the successes of women, as well as drawing attention to the work that needs to be done to address gender inequality,  it is also a chance to watch on as male world leaders attempt to tread that fine line between being respectful and not being patronising in their IWD statements. 

There've been some slip-ups in previous years, but how did the class of 2018 get on? Let's take a look...

Boris Johnson, UK Foreign Secretary

Given the prime minister is female, we'll take Johnson as the male representative for Britain on IWD. The famous feminist chose to celebrate the day on his morning run, with a special T-shirt. Fortunately, someone was there to photograph him, in black and white. 

Proud to support International Women's Day on my morning run. Much to celebrate, but still much more to achieve, including 12yrs of quality education & learning for all girls #IWD2018 pic.twitter.com/kpThmWkrzK

— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) March 8, 2018

Incidentally, only five women have ever held one of the UK government's great offices of state. Former Labour minister Margaret Beckett is the only woman to have had Boris's job, and she lasted only a few months. 

While we're on the subject of Labour, Jeremy Corbyn has repeatedly acknowledged the day on Twitter. He has mainly promoted the work of Dawn Butler MP, the shadow secretary of state for women and equalities.

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia

President Putin took a moment out of his busy day to write a letter to women, as he always does. And what a photo it came with... 

Greetings to Russian women on International Women’s Dayhttps://t.co/O9ibVz287c pic.twitter.com/9FwOW5bdtY

— Vladimir Putin (@PutinRF_Eng) March 8, 2018

"Dear women of Russia,

Please accept my heartfelt greetings on International Women’s Day.

We celebrate this holiday in the very beginning of spring. The weather may vary today across our big country but the spring spirit is everywhere. It is in the smiles, flowers and sincere emotions all around us.

All this is for you, ladies. We are happy to have such a wonderful occasion to express again our deep respect for you, our enchantment with your beauty and tenderness.

Men today are presenting you with heartfelt gifts; they are wishing a happy holiday to mothers, grandmothers, wives, daughters, girlfriends and colleagues.

Only women can create a welcoming atmosphere at work and at home, take care of our homes and children every day and be a moral example to them.

We know that a woman’s heart is the most loyal, her forgiveness the most powerful. And we know that a mother’s love is truly boundless.

To raise a child is a joy and a responsibility, which makes the hard work of mothers of large families even more valuable, including those mothers who give warmth and happiness to adopted children.

Woman is the kind and serene figure in every man’s life. Countless works of art are dedicated to women. And a beautiful tradition of reciting poems for women on March 8 is taking shape in our country.

(Vladimir Putin recites a poem dedicated to women by a Soviet poet.)

Happy International Women’s Day. Be loved and be happy!"

Leo Varadkar, Irish Taoiseach

Threw it straight back to his party, with a nice little video. Solid.

Happy #InternationalWomensDay https://t.co/SZ9SUWxekb

— Leo Varadkar (@campaignforleo) March 8, 2018

Donald Trump, President of the United States

As of 5pm GMT, nothing. How weird,  we're all thinking, he's normally such a supporter of women.

Still, Trump's daughter and advisor, Ivanka, did post a message, which went about as well as you can imagine. 

Today we come together in recognition of women at home & around the globe. We celebrate women’s achievements, past & present, & pledge to empower women to reach their full economic potential for generations to come. When women thrive, we ALL succeed. #InternationalWomensDay

— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) March 8, 2018

Emmanuel Macron, President of France

The smoothest man in the G20 posted a nice, if slightly self-serving, tweet about what he's done to help women. 

En janvier 2017, je lançais un appel pour que les femmes ne laissent pas la politique aux hommes. Depuis, nous agissons partout pour lutter contre l’autocensure et lever les barrières qui entravent l’égalité entre les femmes et les hommes. #8marshttps://t.co/25Vd1LqGk3

— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) March 8, 2018

Here's a translation, thanks to a popular search engine.

"In January 2017, I called for women not to leave politics to men. Since then, we have been taking action everywhere to combat self-censorship and to remove the barriers that hinder equality between women and men. #8 March"

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey 

Sevgileri, emekleri ve fedakârlıklarıyla dünyamızı güzelleştiren kadınlarımızın, 8 Mart Dünya Kadınlar Günü’nü tebrik ediyorum.https://t.co/NqSa1XGLr9 pic.twitter.com/iB5Ql3VIfE

— Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RT_Erdogan) March 8, 2018

Even Turkey's leader managed a message. Here it is translated, but, again it's probably not wholly accurate...

"I congratulate our women, who have made our world awe by their love, their pensions and their sacrifices, March 8th International Women's Day."

It's the word 'pension' that makes you doubt the translation, isn't it?

Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia

One of the first world leaders to see the sunrise March 8th didn't use his head-start to do anything of note. He has merely retweeted this so far:

Academy Fellow Michelle Simmons joins @TurnbullMalcolm to announce new Ambassador for Women in STEM position on #IWD2018. The Ambassador will travel Australia to inspire the next generation of scientists and #PressforProgress pic.twitter.com/S2nESobQmJ

— Australian Academy of Science (@Science_Academy) March 8, 2018

 Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Trudy was never going to miss a chance to post a video of himself, was he? Speaking to all peoplekind, the Canadian leader spoke of the importance of gender equality in helping to raise up a whole society. Quite correctly, he also pointed out that every day should celebrate women, not just on March 8.

We all have a role to play in building a world where women & girls are free to pursue their dreams and reach their full potential. On #IWD2018 & every day, let’s celebrate women’s contributions, stand up for their rights & make sure women are heard: https://t.co/dQFVSIZxEw pic.twitter.com/uQlIM8dVcO

— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) March 8, 2018

Oh, and he did it in French, as well, both because it's an official language in Canada and because he's Justin Trudeau. 

Kim Jong-un, Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea

Ditto, President Trump. Deafening silence from Pyongyang.