International Woman's Day

International Woman's Day

 

Equality for women is progress for all.

The International Women’s Day is not only a time to celebrate women; it is also a time to reflect developments made, keep up the call for change and to showcase extraordinary women around the globe.

High time for the World Summit Award team taking a closer look at its global network and celebrating the inspiring and strong women whose extraordinary achievements contribute every day to society through their engagement and intelligence.

Be it Rapelang Rabana, who has been selected as one of the best young African entrepreneurs by Forbes, or Elisabeth Quat, Founder of IProA, Legislative Council Member Hong Kong and awarded "The Most Successful Women" in 2002,  Jasna Matic, former Minister of Telecommunications and Information Society in Serbia and State Secretary for Digital Agenda, driver of the Girls in ICT programmeor Janine Warner, Founder of Digital Family, writing best-selling books and videos about the Internet and mobile web design…

…just to give a slight impression.

So to all our great WSA Woman out there: Thank you for proving once more how much women are contributing to a true knowledge society!

Celebrated by women's rights activists across the world annually on the 8th of March, International Women's Day (IWD) has been marked by the UN since 1975.

The official United Nations theme for International Women's Day 2014 is "Equality for women is progress for all." Once more it is a call for gender equality, empowerment of women and women’s full enjoyment of human rights.

"Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth. Companies with more women leaders perform better. Peace agreements that include women are more durable. Parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support. The evidence is clear: equality for women means progress for all." says UN- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.  

And tough we know by now that those bullet points are essential to economic and social development modern society is still far from implementation.

With the 2015 deadline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals(MDG) around the corner, International Women’s Day is also an opportunity to review the challenges and achievements in the MDG implementation for women and girls, as the Commission on the Status of Womenwill be doing from 10 to 21 March 2014.

MDG 3 states as its target to “Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education,  preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education no later than 2015”, naming as indicator the share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector and the proportion of seats held by women in national parliament.

That is all well and good, but the question remains: Where do we stand?

Gender parity in schooling worldwide is closest to being achieved at the primary level; however, only 2 out of 130 countries have achieved that target at all levels of education.

Globally, 40 out of 100 wage-earning jobs in the non-agricultural sector are held by women. But women still enter the labour market on an unequal basis to men, even after accounting for educational background and skills.

As of October 2013, women were 21.8 per cent of parliamentarians in single or lower houses and 19.4 per cent of Senate or upper houses, up from 12 per cent and 10.1 per cent in January 1997, respectively. At the pace witnessed during the last 15 years, it will take nearly 40 years to reach the parity zone in parliaments.

According to the Secretary-General's pre-CSW report "Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls", while the three indicators under Goal 3 reflect important dimensions of gender inequality, the narrow focus of Goal 3 fails to address such critical issues as violence against women, inequalities in the division of unpaid care work, women’s limited access to assets, violations of women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights, and their unequal participation in private and public decision-making beyond national parliaments. For countries where data are available, women spend on average roughly twice as much or more time than men on unpaid domestic and care work. The report stresses that unless all dimensions of gender inequality are addressed, the overall Millennium Development Goal of gender equality and women’s empowerment cannot be achieved. Find more here.

It seems that up to today, it is still up to women to fight for their rights, prove that equality should not be a speciality but normality and that old prejudices should be just what they are:

OLD PREJUDICES

 

Source: The Millennium Development Goals Report 2013 p. 22