This year International Women’s Day celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Women in leadership can bring very diverse experiences and expertise to all of society.
We see how countries with women leaders have thrived in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. This is especially important because women and girls are affected disproportionately by COVID-19. Therefore, they will need to be factored in when planning recovery measures in response to the pandemic.
Some factors play a key role in rebuilding a more equal and inclusive world:
Equal representation is one of them – from company boards to parliaments, from higher education to public institutions – realized through special measures and quotas.
Investment in social protection and removing barriers to women’s access to the labour market, property rights and targeted financial tools ensures the full inclusion of women in the economy.
In addressing discrimination and violence against women and girls, efforts to repeal all discriminatory laws in all spheres must continue – from labor and land rights to personal status and protections against violence, and to enact emergency response plans with appropriate policies, funding and political will.
All this requires a shift in people’s mindsets, and for everyone to take action to call out biases and discrimination.
Sustainable development relies on ending discrimination towards women – we cannot deliver on the promise of ‘leaving no one behind’ in development, if half of our world is left underrepresented in places of power, excluded from decision making or marginalized and harmed.
As a collective we need to strive harder to push for gender parity and shatter the glass ceiling no matter where we are or what we do.