Today, March 8, we commemorate International Women's Day! On this day we want 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 theme of this year is "Think equal, build smart, innovate for change" and focuses on innovative ways to advance gender equality.
UNDP Afghanistan/Omer Sadaat (2017)
International Women's Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. International Women's Day first emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe.
Since those early years, International Women's Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. The growing international women's movement, which has been strengthened by four global United Nations women's conferences, has helped make the commemoration a rallying point to build support for women's rights and participation in the political and economic arenas.
The Charter of the United Nations, signed in 1945, was the first international agreement to affirm the principle of equality between women and men. Since then, the UN has helped create a historic legacy of internationally-agreed strategies, standards, programmes and goals to advance the status of women worldwide.
Over the years, the UN and its technical agencies have promoted the participation of women as equal partners with men in achieving sustainable development, peace, security, and full respect for human rights. The empowerment of women continues to be a central feature of the UN's efforts to address social, economic and political challenges across the globe.
The 2019 theme Think equal, build smart, innovate for change focuses on innovative ways in which we can advance gender equality and the empowerment of women, particularly in the areas of social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure.
The achievement of the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires transformative shifts, integrated approaches and new solutions, particularly when it comes to advancing gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.
Innovation and technology provide unprecedented opportunities, yet trends indicate a growing gender digital divide and women are under-represented in the field of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and design. It prevents them from developing and influencing gender-responsive innovations to achieve transformative gains for society. From mobile banking to artificial intelligence and the internet of things, it is vital that women’s ideas and experiences equally influence the design and implementation of the innovations that shape our future societies.
Echoing the priority theme of the sixty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63), in 2019 we look to industry leaders, game-changing start-ups, social entrepreneurs, gender equality activists, and women innovators to examine the ways in which innovation can remove barriers and accelerate progress for gender equality, encourage investment in gender-responsive social systems, and build services and infrastructure that meet the needs of women and girls.
On 8 March 2019, join us as we celebrate a future in which innovation and technology create unprecedented opportunities for women and girls to play an active role in building more inclusive systems, efficient services and sustainable infrastructure to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs and gender equality.
International Women's Day is also an opportunity to consider how to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the Sustainable
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Furthermore, we currently have two campaigns running to create awareness about this matter and to introduce women to impact career opportunities.
With our WIT4Impact (Women in Tech for impact) campaign we've gathered top talents to tackle global challenges like gender parity! We have lined up the most credible organizations in the world that are able to find women in the pool when there is a match and need.
With our #WeCanDoBetter campaign we want to help and support qualified women to pursue a career in the development sector and to give them a hand in making impact!