International Women’s Day spotlights impact of changing world of work
UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Anne Hathaway to focus on the need for parental leave; Planet 50-50 gathers momentum in events around the world
(New York, 7 March)—At a time when women’s voices are rising around the world, International Women’s Day will be commemorated globally on 8 March through a rich diversity of initiatives, celebrating women’s achievements, opportunities and potential, while reflecting on this year’s theme of “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”. Technological advances, mobility of labour, the green economy and globalization can bring unprecedented possibilities for women if they have access to relevant education and training. On the other hand, an increasing number of women are stuck in the low-paid informal economy with no social protection. Women and girls also still carry an enormous unpaid care burden and face other barriers, such as unequal pay, lack of paid parental leave and flexible work arrangements, which significantly impact their participation and contribution to the global economy.
The statistics are staggering: only about 50 per cent of working age women compared to 76 per cent of men are represented in the labour force globally today, and women take on 2.5 times more unpaid work than men. The global gender pay gap is 23 percent.
“We want to construct a different world of work for women. As they grow up, girls must be exposed to a broad range of careers, and encouraged to make choices that lead beyond the traditional service and care options to jobs in industry, art, public service, modern agriculture and science,” said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director in her message for the Day. “In roles where women are already over-represented but poorly paid, and with little or no social protection, we must make those industries work better for women. For example, a robust care economy that responds to the needs of women and gainfully employs them; equal terms and conditions for women’s paid work and unpaid work; and support for women entrepreneurs, including their access to finance and markets,” she reiterated.
Along with a wide range of events across the globe, in New York, the commemoration of the Day will include a special event at the United Nations Headquarters, bringing together activists, celebrities, business industry leaders, UN senior officials and Member States: Peter Thomson, President of the 71st Session of the General Assembly; Lana Nusseibeh, President of UN Women Executive Board; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women; Casar Jacobson, disability activist and youth champion; singer and songwriter Jayna Brown; and American award-winning actor and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Anne Hathaway will participate in the event.
At the event, Anne Hathaway will deliver a keynote address in her first public appearance as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, with a focus on unpaid care work and paid parental leave. A panel discussion featuring prominent speakers from governments, the UN, activists and private sector representatives will follow