International Women’s Day 2017
Events | News | Join the conversation | The issue
The 2017 theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March, focuses on “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”.
The world of work is changing, with significant implications for women. On one hand, technological advances and globalization bring unprecedented opportunities for those who can access them. On the other hand, there is growing informality of labour, income inequality and humanitarian crises. See the flyer and RSVP for the official UN commemoration of the International Women's Day»
Against this backdrop, only 50 per cent of working age women are represented in the labour force globally, compared to 76 per cent of men. What’s more, an overwhelming majority of women are in the informal economy, subsidizing care and domestic work, and concentrated in lower-paid, lower-skill occupations with little or no social protection. Achieving gender equality in the world of work is imperative for sustainable development.
The United Nations observance on 8 March will call upon all actors to Step It Up for Gender Equality towards a Planet 50-50 by 2030 by ensuring that the world of work works for all women.
The upcoming sixty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61), from 13 – 24 March, at UN Headquarters will deliberate on “Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work.” Read more»
UN Secretary-General's message for the International Women's Day
Women’s rights are human rights. But in these troubled times, as our world becomes more unpredictable and chaotic, the rights of women and girls are being reduced, restricted and reversed. Empowering women and girls is the only way to protect their rights and make sure they can realize their full potential. Read more>
Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030
Message by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka on International Women's Day
“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...” Read the full message»
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Related link: International Women's Day messages from the UN system
Changing world, changing work
The world of work is changing fast, through innovation, increasing mobility and informality. But it needs to change faster to empower women, whose work has already driven many of the global gains in recent decades. Women still predominantly occupy jobs that pay less and provide no benefits. They earn less than men, even as they shoulder the enormous—and economically essential—burden of unpaid care and domestic work. Realizing women’s economic empowerment requires transformative change so that prosperity is equitably shared and no one is left behind. The international community has made this commitment in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Every woman should enjoy her right to decent work. As a global champion for gender equality and women’s empowerment, UN Women asks: What do we need to get there? See the photo essay»
International Women’s Day 2017
Join UN Women on International Women’s Day as we put a spotlight on women in the changing world of work.
What is the real value of unpaid work?
Around the world, women do the vast majority of the unpaid work, including child care, cooking, cleaning and farming. This unpaid work is essential for households and economies to function, but it is also valued less than paid work. UN Women expert Shahra Razavi reveals the real value of unpaid care, and how we can reduce the burden on women by tackling entrenched stereotypes.
What does the data say?
Globalization, digital innovations, and rapid advances in communication technologies pitted against climate change, economic inequality, and humanitarian crises, among other factors, continue to transform the world in which we work — posing both challenges as well as opportunities in realizing women’s economic potential for a better tomorrow. Below, explore just some facts on where women stand today in the changing world of work. To explore some facts on where women stand today in the changing world of work, see the full infographic»
Think you know your facts on women and the economy? Take our quiz to find out!
Can you find her?Can you spot the woman at work?
On and around International Women’s Day, 8 March, a rich diversity of initiatives celebrated women’s achievements, activism and potential. UN Women, along with partners in the UN system, governments and civil society, organized events in more than 50 countries across the globe, under the theme of “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”. From film festivals, solidarity marches, seminars and press conferences to art exhibits and activities to engage girls in sport, here are some highlights from the occasion. Read more»
Watch the archived webcast of UN commemoration of International Women’s Day at the UN Headquarters in New York. American award-winning actor and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, Anne Hathaway delivered a keynote address focusing on the issue of unpaid care work and paid parental leave. Read her speech»
- Speech: “Paid parental leave is about creating freedom to define roles”— UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Anne Hathaway (8 March 2017)
- Press Release: UN Women announces four new HeForShe Thematic Champions to accelerate progress towards gender equality (8 March 2017)
- Press Release: International Women’s Day spotlights impact of changing world of work (7 March 2017)
- Op-ed by Lakshmi Puri: "Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030" (6 March 2017)
- Media Advisory: International Women’s Day (2 March 2017)
Join the conversation
- Main hashtags: #WomensDay (#DíadelaMujer, #Journéedesfemmes); #Planet5050 – check out the emoji on Twitter when tweeting #WomensDay!
- Main Twitter accounts: @UN_Women (English), @ONUMujeres (Spanish), @ONUFemmes (French)
- Main Facebook accounts: UN Women (English), ONU Mujeres (Spanish), ONU Femmes (French)
- Other accounts: Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and unwomen on Snapchat.
- Share content from our social media package with images, videos and sample promotional messages in English, Spanish and French. Is available here.
- Follow our accounts for live coverage from the different events on 8 March.
- Spread the word and Tweet
The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March during International Women’s Year 1975. Two years later, in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.
International Women’s Day first emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe. Since those early years, International Women’s Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. The growing international women’s movement, which has been strengthened by four global United Nations women’s conferences, has helped make the commemoration a rallying point to build support for women’s rights and participation in the political and economic arenas.
Increasingly, International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.
See our coverage of International Women’s Day 2016
See our coverage of International Women’s Day 2015
See our coverage of International Women’s Day 2014
See our coverage of International Women’s Day 2013
See our coverage of International Women’s Day 2012