International Women’s Day 2021
Statements | Stories | Campaign | Generation Equality Forum | News | Social media
Women of the world want and deserve an equal future free from stigma, stereotypes and violence; a future that’s sustainable, peaceful, with equal rights and opportunities for all. To get us there, the world needs women at every table where decisions are being made.
UN Women is working to provide support to all women on the front lines of the fight against this pandemic; promoting flexible working arrangements; and prioritizing services to prevent gender-based domestic violence. Now you, too, can help them. Donate now.
This year, the theme for International Women’s Day (8 March), “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world,” celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and highlights the gaps that remain.
Women’s full and effective participation and leadership in of all areas of life drives progress for everyone. Yet, women are still underrepresented in public life and decision-making, as revealed in the UN Secretary-General’s recent report. Women are Heads of State or Government in 22 countries, and only 24.9 per cent of national parliamentarians are women. At the current rate of progress, gender equality among Heads of Government will take another 130 years.
Women are also at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19, as front-line and health sector workers, as scientists, doctors and caregivers, yet they get paid 11 per cent less globally than their male counterparts. An analysis of COVID-19 task teams from 87 countries found only 3.5 per cent of them had gender parity.
When women lead, we see positive results. Some of the most efficient and exemplary responses to the COVID-19 pandemic were led by women. And women, especially young women, are at the forefront of diverse and inclusive movements online and on the streets for social justice, climate change and equality in all parts of the world. Yet, women under 30 are less than 1 per cent of parliamentarians worldwide.
This is why, this year’s International Women’s Day is a rallying cry for Generation Equality, to act for an equal future for all. The Generation Equality Forum, the most important convening for gender equality investment and actions, kicks off in Mexico City from 29 – 31 March, and culminates in Paris in June 2021. It will draw leaders, visionaries, and activists from around the world, safely on a virtual platform, to push for transformative and lasting change for generations to come.
Learn more about the Generation Equality Forum, meet the activists, and get inspired by stories of women leaders we admire.
Event: United Nations Observance of International Women's Day 2021
UN Women is pleased to invite you to the United Nations observance of International Women’s Day 2021. The theme is “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world on the way to the Generation Equality Forum”. Learn more ►
- UN Secretary-General's message for International Women's Day 2021
In his statement for International Women's Day, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres highlighted the need to work together with vision and determination to make equality happen.
- Statement by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director, on International Women’s Day 2021
In her statement for International Women's Day (8 March), UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said: "We need women’s representation that reflects all women and girls in all their diversity and abilities, and across all cultural, social, economic and political situations. This is the only way we will get real societal change that incorporates women in decision-making as equals and benefits us all."
Campaign: Act for Equal
#ActforEqual is a new campaign to drive attention, excitement and action towards the upcoming Generation Equality Forum. Through the campaign you can show your support, take action for gender equality and help propel major commitments to the Action Coalition Goals. We can’t wait any longer for gender equality. It’s time to #ActforEqual.
Generation Equality Forum
The Generation Equality Forum, a milestone for gender equality investment and actions, kicks off in Mexico City from 29 – 31 March, and culminates in Paris in June 2021. It will draw leaders, visionaries, and activists from around the world, via a safe virtual platform, to push for transformative and lasting change for generations to come.
Generation Equality Forum news:
- Share your ideas for actions governments, corporations and others should take for a gender equal world. Join the conversation
- Learn more about the upcoming Generation Equality Forum Mexico, 29-31 March
- Get to know the corporate and youth leaders driving our Generation Equality Forum Action Coalitions
- Press release: UN Women data reveals women’s leadership is far from equal and under threat by the pandemic; sharpens imperative for the 2021 Generation Equality Forum
- Joint press release from the President of the French Republic and the Executive Director of UN Women: Dates of the Generation Equality Forum in Paris
- Generation Equality Forum increases momentum: Action Coalitions preview recommendations and launch bold call for commitments
- Private sector companies support International Women’s Day and amplify UN Women’s Generation Equality campaign
- Media Advisory: International Women’s Day, 8 March 2021
- UN Women launches global call to creatives: Artivism for Gender Equality
Celebrate International Women’s Day with us online! If you haven’t already, today is the day to make a commitment to women everywhere to stand up for human rights and join the fight for an equal future. Join the virtual activism with #GenerationEquality and use #IWD2021 to join the conversation. You can download slogans, fun GIFs and more in our social media package here: https://trello.com/b/pD8AFd1o
See our coverage of International Women's Day in the past: 2020, 2019, 2018,2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012