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Thursday, May 23, 2024

International Women’s Day 2024 Being Observed

International Women's Day 2024 addresses gender inequality, empower women, and confront challenges in conflict zones and reproductive rights.

On International Women’s Day 2024, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has highlighted the critical nexus between decent work and gender equality. Under the theme of ‘Investing in women: Accelerate progress,’ the ILO emphasizes the indispensable roles that both decent work and gender equality play in fostering inclusive and sustainable development.

This year’s celebrations coincide with the 350th session of the Governing Body, bringing together key stakeholders, including the Director General, Governing Body participants, and ILO colleagues, in a concerted effort to advance women’s rights and opportunities. The event commenced with performances by the ILO choir and featured addresses by the Director General and representatives from three constituents.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also marked the occasion with a video message acknowledging the contributions of women soldiers involved in the conflict in Ukraine. Putin paid tribute to the women serving in the “special military operation” zone, recognizing their courage and dedication in performing combat tasks. Additionally, he issued a decree granting clemency to 52 women prisoners, including those with relatives serving in the military, underscoring the significance of women’s roles in both conflict and peacebuilding efforts.

Addressing Global Challenges Facing Women

In tandem with these celebrations, UN Women has called for urgent action to invest in women as a catalyst for economic growth and societal prosperity. Against the backdrop of ongoing conflicts and crises worldwide, women continue to bear the brunt of the impacts, with 1 in every 10 women living in extreme poverty. The intersection of conflict and climate change further exacerbates these challenges, with over 614 million women and girls residing in conflict-affected areas, where they are 7.7 times more likely to experience extreme poverty.

Moreover, climate change threatens to deepen existing poverty gaps, disproportionately affecting women and girls. By 2030, an estimated 236 million more women and girls could face hunger compared to 131 million men. Gender disparities persist in labor force participation, with only 61 percent of women globally engaged in the workforce compared to 90 percent of men. UN Women emphasizes the potential dividends of gender equality, highlighting that prioritizing education, fair wages, and social benefits could lift over 100 million women and girls out of poverty and create nearly 300 million jobs by 2035.

Calls for Action and Investment

Despite growing recognition of the imperative to advance gender equality, significant gaps remain in funding and policy commitments. Currently, only 4 percent of official development assistance is allocated to programs dedicated to gender equality, highlighting the urgent need for increased investment. UN Women urges Member States to prioritize gender equality in policy agendas and allocate adequate resources to support women’s empowerment initiatives.

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As global leaders convene at the Commission on the Status of Women in New York, the focus turns to translating commitments into tangible action. Concrete steps are needed to address structural barriers, transform social norms, and ensure women’s access to essential resources and opportunities. By investing in gender equality and women’s empowerment, governments and stakeholders can pave the way for a more equitable and sustainable future, advancing progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and fostering inclusive societies for all.