Editorial – March 2021
International Women’s Day was established by the UN in 1977 and is celebrated on 8 March. It was inspired in 1910 by Clara Zetkin, a German journalist, politician, teacher and activist. 111 years later, there is still a long way to go, given the inequalities that remain between genders.
1 Mar 2021

The theme chosen by UN Women for this year is “Women’s Leadership for an Equal Future in the World of Covid-19.” The focus, however, is on committed women from very different backgrounds and perspectives, who share a strong determination to make their way forward, whatever the challenges. What connects these women – from Simonetta Sommaruga (former President of the Swiss Confederation), to Pamela Coke-Hamilton (Executive Director of the International Trade Centre), through Anuradha Gupta (Deputy CEO of GAVI, the vaccine alliance), Maria del Socorro Flores Liera (Ambassador of Mexico) and Frédérique Bedos (Founder of the Imagine Project) – is that they are all movers and shakers who are fighting for a fairer world.

Since its creation, the United Nations has consistently challenged the world to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment. However, it was not until 2018 that the Organization finally developed a real strategy to address the issue within its ranks. Although it is not perfect, it has at least the merit of setting quantitative targets to be achieved by no later than 2030. This does not go without raising some legitimate concerns among male colleagues who fear that their careers will stagnate. While it is clear that competence must remain the priority factor, the time is long overdue to establish equality between women and men in terms of career development.

Let us celebrate women together, and let us bring about full equality with men.

* Prisca Chaoui is the Editor-in-Chief of UN Today. Prisca Chaoui est l'Éditeur en chef du UN Today.

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