As the saying goes, “a balanced world is a better world,” a time has come for a more gender-balanced world. This International Women’s Day, 8th March 2019, comes at a time when the world is gradually embracing women leadership and their role in the overall development of our world. This remarkable day provides an opportunity for policymakers and global leaders to move beyond the rhetoric of gender mainstreaming and take action towards equality.
Over the years, women were perceived as lacking skills, knowledge or ability to bring about change in the society. Changing this narrative has required our every effort and focus.
Women’s and girls’ equality and empowerment is one of the core goals of the Sustainable Development Goals, integral to the world peace. The affirmation of gender parity in the world’s religious and spiritual traditions answers to the Sustainable Development Goals especially SDG 5 on Achieving Gender Equality and Empowering all Women and Girls.
“Feminism isn’t about making women strong. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” — G.D. Anderson, feminist
The recognition of women’s role in environmental sustainability, peace and in overall societal growth has often been overlooked, yet they have been actively involved in peace building and other processes promoting sustainable development globally over many decades.
In the political arena, women have been at the frontline, vying for key political and other key leadership positions, leading with distinction. It is no wonder a country like Rwanda with 64% of seats occupied by women in the lower house of national legislature, is the largest share of any country in the world, has made tremendous progress in all spheres of development.
Despite the notable progress, gender bias is still deeply rooted in the world’s cultures, economies, political and social settings; and women and girls face unacceptable levels of discrimination and abuse, which is not only wrong, but also prevents them from exploring their full potentials in the development of their families, society and in decision-making.
The world at large needs to achieve gender equality by 2030. And this requires our undivided urgent action in order to end discrimination against women and uphold their rights and dignity.
We at Arigatou International have played a major role in making the world more peaceful and a better place for every child to thrive. We could not have done this without the many great and committed women in our network, many of whom are Coordinators and leaders in their communities.
We thank you for working with, and mobilizing other stakeholders including religious leaders, civil society organizations and governments to develop policies, raise awareness about child rights and for taking specific actions to support children.
WE CELEBRATE AND APPRECIATE YOU!
“Women and girls, everywhere, must have equal rights and opportunity, and be able to live free of violence and discrimination.” – UN Women