We are living through a decisive moment. The COVID-19 pandemic’s devasting impact is reaching every corner of the world. As we look back at this period, we will see history divided into a pre-COVID and a post-COVID world.
Women hold up half the sky.
Some years ago, Sarah al-Amiri, a young Emirati engineer, had a fixed gaze beyond the sky and towards our galaxy. “Space was a sector that we never dared to dream growing up,” she noted.
During the height of the COVID-19 lockdowns, while many sought safety being at home, women in the healthcare, child care, aged care, teaching and services fields — who hold the majority of jobs in those occupations — went to work everyday.
My newsfeed on International Women's Day: "Happy Women's Day to my superwoman! You got promoted to Vice President at the bank, you are an amazing mom to our kids, you make sure a simple guy like me has his life in order and take care of your parents and in-laws with the utmost care. Salute!"
As the global effort to address climate change has strengthened over the last few years, so has the realization that rising temperatures and climactic disruptions disproportionately impact women, particularly in developing countries, as they tend to be more dependent upon natural resources
and are thus overrepresented in resource-intensive economic sectors. Furthermore, inherent in gender inequality are disadvantages for and discrimination against women in all facets of society, including in the economy and politics. Thus, it is unfortunate, yet perhaps unsurprising, that these structural disparities are mirrored in the negative effects of climate change. Therefore, if gender differences are not incorporated into climate change plans, women will be unable to access the co-benefits that arise from concerted climate action.
Access to an inclusive quality education is a universal human right. When the inherent right to a good education is ignored or denied, the consequences are severe. For a girl in country of conflict or forced displacement, the impact is brutally multiplied.
Power is an intriguing concept and it means different things to different people. In simple words, power is the ability to influence the behavior of others to get what you want. Power distribution is usually visible in most societies when there is a clear and obvious division between the roles of the men and expectations from women. One can’t talk about power without talking about patriarchy - in which men always hold the power and women are largely excluded from it. Women are almost always taught power and ambition are two dirty words, and should not be linked to their personalities.
Today is International Women’s Day (IWD), and the theme for this year’s celebration is "Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world."
We recognize the tremendous contribution and leadership demonstrated by women and girls around the world in shaping our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and a more sustainable future.
In times of crisis, policymakers have a tendency to prioritize economic recovery while leaving “social issues” like women’s empowerment on the backburner. During the COVID-19 pandemic, however, women’s leadership is as essential to full and meaningful recovery as it is to basic human rights. As the world mobilizes to design and build a post-COVID landscape, women’s rights, interests and priorities must not only be included in international recovery agendas but pushed to the forefront. To achieve this, women themselves must not simply be included in the discussion, but equitably represented in leadership roles.
“A girl should be two things: Who and what she wants.” – Coco Chanel
Women of the world want and deserve an equal future...a future that’s sustainable, peaceful, with equal rights and opportunities for all.
Almost exactly a year ago today, I packed my computer and a couple of necessities in the office in New York, hugged the colleagues, and headed home to what most people thought would be a couple of week’s Covid-19 lockdown. Little did we know.
Among the greatest gifts with which I have been blessed were parents who instilled in me a deep-rooted sense of identity, and the unequivocal belief that there was no difference between what a boy and a girl could achieve.
This assurance sustained me while growing up, as the tenth child out of twelve wonderful siblings, and through the numerous times when it was suggested by others that I would never succeed, simply because I was black, poor and female.
Every year on March 8, the International Women’s Day is commemorated. What do women think about this famous anniversary, first honored 1911 in European countries? As I cannot speak for other women, I share with you my personal reflections on this special day, bringing in a developmental perspective.
International Women’s Day is always an occasion to celebrate strong women and an important day in the global calendar to highlight the gender injustices still lingering in every part of the world.
International Women's Day pays tribute to the achievements of women worldwide and reminds us what still needs to be done for full gender equality. In 2021, we are taking stock of the many ways in which COVID-19 has disproportionately affected women and girls around the world.
Africa’s population will double by 2050 if growth rates continue their trajectory, but the creation of jobs is not keeping pace, with up to five times more young people seeking employment each year as there are new posts to fill. And, on top of this, the COVID pandemic is plunging Africa into its first recession in 25 years.
The COVID-19 pandemic (henceforth pandemic) has women particularly hard. In almost all countries, women constitute the bulk of the labour force in the service sector, which was hardest hit by the pandemic. Furthermore, they also represent a disproportionate share of the work force in particularly vulnerable sectors such as health care. Women also have disproportionate if not sole responsibility for home work including taking care of children.
As a member of the second wave of the feminist movement who were also the first generation of women to receive positions of leadership, I recall the prejudices and biases that framed our experience. Women rarely were put in charge of “hard” core issues, only what were termed “soft” ones in keeping with their role as nurturer and carer. When they were present in the Board room, they were often silent. When they spoke, they were inevitably spoken over. It was the exceptional woman who could navigate the corridors of corporate culture, male expectations, and a workplace that was unsympathetic to her dual burden.
An often quoted indigenous reference in the Samoan language is, O le ala i le pule o le tautua
, literally translated, “the pathway to leadership is through service” because to be able to lead is to be willing to serve.
"Working in Science, like any other career, is fit for women too… Just go for it, nobody can stop you", Valérie Allain, Senior Fisheries Scientist at the Pacific Community (SPC).
where women are most marginalized, discriminated under the law and where gendered norms prevent women from owning property and resources, people are also the hungriest. This is because gender equality and food systems are intertwined.