International Women’s Day marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women and marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. The theme for International Women’s Day 2024, Count Her In: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress looks at different pathways to ensure greater economic inclusion for women everywhere. In a world that sees immense pressure on communities, achieving gender equality is more vital than ever. Ensuring women’s and girls’ rights across all aspects of life and furthering the cause of education is the only way to secure prosperous and just economies, and a healthy planet for future generations. No wonder, the UN has set the tone for women’s progress by ensuring that the theme for International Women’s Day is to invest in women. There are a few key areas that need action to ensure women are not left behind:

Education among women will give them greater power

If women are educated, they will have a greater say in the family, workspace and larger institutions of society. Investing in education and training as fundamental human rights propels societal development, but the persistent inequalities can hinder access to quality education globally for many women and girls. The strategic investments in dismantling gender stereotypes, promoting gender-sensitive curricula, and challenging unwanted practices are essential to highlight women’s capabilities. The world has come to a point where education cannot be undertaken without the intervention of technology. Hence there is much need to continue prioritize STEM education for women, which can open new career prospects for women. It equips them with skills to adapt to evolving societal and market demands, ensuring a more inclusive and dynamic workforce.

Investing in women is a human right

Investing in women is both an economic imperative and a human rights issue. Gender equality remains the greatest human rights challenge known to humankind. This empowerment will enable better financial access to resources among women and greater say in decision-making. It has taken centuries for societies to effect a change in these roles and ensure that women are part of a country’s progress. Women’s’ rights have to extend from the family to the workspace and other social and economic institutions. The International Women’s Day reflects the changes needed in women’s’ conditions and the need to uplift them, in various spheres. Investing in women is a cornerstone for building inclusive societies.

Inclusivity of Women for Societal Harmony

Including women in every segment of societal growth is necessary and a catalyst for positive change. Embracing diversity in race, age, ability, faith, and body image is crucial. Inclusion fosters a sense of belongingness, relevance, and empowerment. Organizations, groups, and individuals must play pivotal roles in openly embracing diversity, creating a better world where women actively contribute to progress, and bringing forth a society that values the unique perspectives and strengths that women bring to the table.

In conclusion, recognizing women’s rights as an investment issue is critical for creating transformative solutions that enable women to realize their rights, escape the cycle of poverty, and truly thrive. They are the carriers of values and perceptions that will make a difference to societies, families, institutions and economies. It is known that women’s’ contributions by and large have been under-played. But the world now is a different place as everyone has realized that they cannot do without women’s strengths, skills and talent and are hence making right decisions to ensure that women are now mainstream actors in society. This International Women’s Day, let’s come together to transform these challenges into opportunities. Ensuring women’s and girls’ rights across all aspects of life is the only way to secure prosperous and just economies, and a healthy planet for future generations.

Niru Agarwal, Trustee, Greenwood High International School

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