International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated annually on 8 March to recognise women’s social, economic, cultural, and political achievements and call for gender equality. It has been celebrated for over a century, with the first IWD being held in 1911, and has since become a global movement that seeks to empower women and girls and promote their rights.
Gender equality is critical for the development and progress of societies and is a fundamental human right. Despite this, women and girls around the world continue to face numerous challenges and barriers that prevent them from realizing their full potential. These challenges include poverty, discrimination, violence, and lack of access to education and healthcare.
How to address the problem?
To address these challenges and achieve gender equality, world leaders need to embrace the importance of IWD and take concrete steps to promote women’s rights and empower women and girls. This can include measures such as increasing investment in women’s education and healthcare, strengthening laws and policies that protect women’s rights, and promoting gender equality in the workplace.
Did you know?
- Pay Gap: According to the World Economic Forum, globally, women earn 23% less than men and the gender pay gap is unlikely to close before 2186.
- Political Representation: Despite progress in recent years, women still lag behind in political representation. As of 2021, only 25% of parliamentary seats are held by women globally.
- Education: Despite progress in increasing access to education, there are still numerous barriers that prevent girls from accessing education, including poverty, cultural norms, and conflict. According to UNESCO, 130 million girls are still out of school.
- Healthcare: Women and girls also face significant barriers in accessing healthcare, particularly in developing countries. For example, maternal mortality rates are much higher in developing countries than in developed countries, with 99% of all maternal deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries.
- Violence Against Women: Violence against women continues to be a widespread and persistent problem. According to the United Nations, 1 in 3 women worldwide experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime.
- Economic Empowerment: Women also face barriers in the workforce, including discrimination, lack of access to credit, and limited opportunities for entrepreneurship. As a result, women are more likely to work in low-paying, insecure jobs and are less likely to have access to social protection and pension benefits.
These statistics highlight the ongoing challenges women and girls face worldwide and the need for continued action to promote gender equality and empower women and girls. On International Women’s Day and beyond, it is important to continue to raise awareness about these issues and work towards creating a more equal and just world for all.
International ambassadors also play a critical role in promoting the importance of IWD and advocating for gender equality. Through their advocacy, they raise awareness about the challenges facing women and girls and encourage individuals, organizations, and governments to take action. By working together, international ambassadors can help to create a world where women and girls have equal opportunities to achieve their goals and reach their full potential.
In addition to promoting gender equality, IWD is also an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women and girls around the world. From political leaders and businesswomen to activists and artists, women have made significant contributions to society and continue to shape the world in which we live.
IWD is a reminder that women’s rights are human rights and that everyone has a role to play in promoting gender equality. Whether it’s through volunteering, advocating for women’s rights, or simply raising awareness about the importance of IWD, every action counts and can help to create a world where women and girls are empowered and equal.
International Women’s Day is an important day celebrating women’s and girls’ achievements and raising awareness about the challenges they face. By embracing the significance of this day, world leaders and international ambassadors can help to promote gender equality and empower women and girls around the world. Let us work together to create a more equal and just world for all.