International Women’s day is not a day to celebrate women as wives, mothers, and/or daughters. It is a day to celebrate the achievements and contributions of women in our fight for economic and social equality.
A lot has been achieved over the years, but the COVID 19 pandemic has reversed some progress. As we celebrate this day, we need to be reminded of a future that’s sustainable, peaceful, with equal rights and opportunities for all. To get us there, the world needs women at every table where decisions are being made.
This year’s theme is, “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.” Women and girls around the world have contributed tremendous efforts in the wake of the COVID 19 pandemic. Women stand at the front lines of this unforeseen health crisis as health care workers, caregivers, innovators, community organizers, and as some of the most exemplary and effective national leaders.
In our shift to remote work as a way of taking initiative in prioritizing the welfare of employees at Bewsys, it was a woman who led the initiative. She compiled a business continuity plan to reflect a transition that prioritised the socio-economic challenges women face with remote work and working in a pandemic. Critical issues such as increased domestic dependence on women were considered. As such, the working policies were adjusted to reflect flexible working hours and enhance work-life balance.
This is to show that women’s full and effective participation and leadership in all areas of life drives progress for everyone. Nonetheless, women are still underrepresented in public life and decision-making, as revealed in the UN Secretary-General’s recent report. Women are Heads of State or Government in 22 countries, and only 24.9 percent of national parliamentarians are women. At the current rate of progress, gender equality among Heads of Government will take another 130 years.
It is important to recognize that gender equality does not exist anywhere in the world, to this day. We can all play a role in inspiring others to create a world without gender-based discrimination. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. With just less than a decade to 2030, consider what you can do differently to ensure that women are equally represented in boardrooms, parliaments, and generally, leadership positions. #ChoosetoChallenge