The Pandemic Crisis Has Highlighted Both the Centrality of Women Contributions and the Disproportionate Burdens They Carry


Human Wrongs Watch

International Women’s Day

Health care worker with protective glasses and mask
Despite women making up a majority of front-line workers, there is disproportionate and inadequate representation of women in national and global COVID-19 policy spaces. PHOTO:WHO / P. Phutpheng

6 March 2021 (United Nations)* — Women stand at the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, as health care workers, caregivers, innovators, community organizers and as some of the most exemplary and effective national leaders in combating the pandemic. The crisis has highlighted both the centrality of their contributions and the disproportionate burdens that women carry.

This year’s theme for the International Day,”Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world“, celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Did you know?

  • Nearly 60 per cent of women around the world work in the informal economy, earning less, saving less, and at greater risk of falling into poverty.
  • Women earn 23% less than men globally.
  • Women occupy only 24% of parliamentary seats worldwide.
  • 1 in 3 have experiences physical or sexual violence and 200 M of girls-women have suffered genital mutilation.

It is also aligned with the priority theme of the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, “Women in public life, equal participation in decision making“,and the flagship Generation Equality campaign, which calls for women’s right to decision-making in all areas of life, equal pay, equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work, an end all forms of violence against women and girls, and health-care services that respond to their needs.

Gender Equality by 2030

International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women, who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.

The world has made unprecedented advances, but no country has achieved gender equality.

Fifty years ago, we landed on the moon; in the last decade, we discovered new human ancestors and photographed a black hole for the first time.

In the meantime, legal restrictions have kept 2.7 billion women from accessing the same choice of jobs as men. Less than 25 per cent of parliamentarians were women, as of 2019. One in three women experience gender-based violence, still.

Let’s make 2021 count for women and girls everywhere.

illustration of women and a man making their voices heard

How you can make an impact

Change isn’t just about big headline moments, legal victories and international agreements: the way we talk, think, and act every day can create a ripple effect that benefits everyone.

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