top of page
Image by Rosie Fraser

International Women's Day 2021

Today, Monday the 8th of March marks the United Nations declared International Women's Day. An important date on the calendar to celebrate the achievements and successes of women and girls as well as continue the fight for women's rights and equality around the world.

It is critical to recognise achieving gender equality not only benefits women but will help in tackling climate change, boosting economic growth and achieving the #GlobalGoals.

Significantly, International Women's Day aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of the Month for March 2021. Goal 5 - Gender Equality.

Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.

There has been progress over the last decades: More girls are going to school, fewer girls are forced into early marriage, more women are serving in parliament and positions of leadership, and laws are being reformed to advance gender equality.

Despite these gains, many challenges remain: discriminatory laws and social norms remain pervasive, women continue to be underrepresented at all levels of political leadership, and 1 in 5 women and girls between the ages of 15 and 49 report experiencing physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner within a 12-month period.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic could reverse the limited progress that has been made on gender equality and women’s rights. The coronavirus outbreak exacerbates existing inequalities for women and girls across every sphere – from health and the economy, to security and social protection.

Women play a disproportionate role in responding to the virus, including as frontline healthcare workers and carers at home. Women’s unpaid care work has increased significantly as a result of school closures and the increased needs of older people. Women are also harder hit by the economic impacts of COVID-19, as they disproportionately work in insecure labour markets. Nearly 60 per cent of women work in the informal economy, which puts them at greater risk of falling into poverty.

The pandemic has also led to a steep increase in violence against women and girls. With lockdown measures in place, many women are trapped at home with their abusers, struggling to access services that are suffering from cuts and restrictions. Emerging data shows that, since the outbreak of the pandemic, violence against women and girls – and particularly domestic violence – has intensified.

If you haven’t already, today is the day to make a commitment to women everywhere to stand up for human rights and join the fight for an equal future. Where will you stand?



E_SDG_logo_No UN Emblem_square_cmyk.jpg
bottom of page