This International Women’s Day, the world is looking to forge a #BalanceforBetter. Celebrating the achievements of women in social, economic and political spheres globally is important in order to challenge perceived gender norms and further advance the cause for equality. But what more can be done to raise awareness against these institutionalised biases, which continue to hinder progress towards a true gender balance?
Sustainable Development Goal 5 seeks to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. The UN Review of this goal in 2018 showed that although progress against gender-based discrimination has been made in some areas, gender inequalities which deny women basic rights and opportunities still persist around the globe.
This is critical, as we all do better when women are empowered and are afforded the same opportunities as men:
“Balance is not a women's issue, it's a business issue. The race is on for the gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced media coverage, a gender-balance of employees, more gender-balance in wealth, gender-balanced sports coverage. Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive.”
- International Women's Day website
The first International Women’s Day occurred in 1911 and was supported by over 1 million people. During International Women’s Year in 1975, the United Nations began celebrating a day focusing on women's empowerment on 8 March. Now, International Women's Day is recognised globally and belongs to all groups looking to collectively inspire action for women’s empowerment.
The UN will host its 63rd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women beginning on 11 March. To find more about what UNHS has been doing in preparation for this, click here.