“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.” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon
It is a universal fact that women make nearly half of the world’s population (UNFPA, 2013), and their role in societal development and cohesion is indispensable. March 8 is designated as an International Women’s Day (IWD), and the celebration takes place around the world featuring meetings, rallies, conferences, forums and etc. Similarly, the United Nations (UN) will be celebrating the IWD every year and this year’s theme is “Equality for women is progress for all”. The theme emphasizes how gender equality, empowerment of women, women’s full enjoyment of human rights and the eradication of poverty are essential to economic and social development (UN, 2014).
The following is a quote from the Huffington Post on IWD and the importance inclusion (both men and women) to ensure equality:
“As a man, I affirm this: Feminism is not exclusively for women or exclusively about women. Feminism is the simple, radical notion that women and girls are human beings. That affirmation means that men are inherently involved in feminism and it means that men’s lives improve when we embrace the full equality of women.” (Gary Barker, Founder of Promundo)
The followings are links to celebrations and programs related to the 2014 International Women’s Day around the world:
UN Programs: http://www.un.org/en/events/womensday/