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Protesters in Podgorica march against cuts in Montenegrin state aid for mothers of three or more children on International Women's Day 2017.

Women’s groups staged protests and stayed home from work in cities around the world, as they marked International Women’s Day on March 8 -- seeking to draw attention to economic disparities with men and other persistent social problems.

Women across Ireland went on strike and wore black as a protest against the country's restrictive abortion laws. Solidarity protests were also held in London, Amsterdam and elsewhere to call for the laws to be amended.

In Warsaw, thousands of women marched in the city center carrying frying pans and red cards as they called for full birth control rights, equal pay with men, and protection against violence.

In Rome, hundreds of women set off on a march from the Colosseum to demand equal rights.

Germany's Lufthansa airline said it had six all-female crews flying from several cities in the country to Berlin.

In the United States, some members of Congress walked out as part of what was billed as A Day Without Women, to highlight pay disparities with men.

The effort was organized in the wake of the massive marches that drew more than 1 million Americans into the streets the day after President Donald Trump's inauguration.

Outside Trump’s home office in Manhattan, about 1,000 people, mostly women, gathered and waved signs reading ''Misogyny out of the White House now" and "Resist like a girl."

Schools in several U.S. cities cancelled classes after hundreds of teachers and other staff members said they would not show up for work on March 8.

Originally organized as a socialist worker's holiday, International Women’s Day has been embraced in many countries as a way to highlight the challenges women face.

With reporting by AP and the BBC

Pakistan's military says it has executed five "hardcore terrorists" who were involved in attacks on army and other security personnel.

The military says the executions of the five Taliban militants, all members of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, were carried out on March 8 at the District Jail Kohat in the northwestern part of the country.

Military trials of terrorism suspects were legalized in January 2015 for a two-year period amid arguments that civilian courts were too slow to deal with cases and that many judges feared becoming victims of reprisal attacks.

The courts were set up after the December 2014 Peshawar school massacre that left 147 people dead, most of them children.

But since then, the courts have been criticized for a lack of transparency and human rights abuses.

The Peshawar attack also prompted Pakistan to lift a moratorium on capital punishment.

With reporting from AP and Reuters

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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