According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2020, it will take a staggering 99.5 years to instil gender parity across education, health, politics and all forms of economic participation. So, in 2021, how can you help create this gender equal world when the ingrained complexity of patriarchy still affects hundreds of millions of women worldwide?
To assist you with this challenge, IWD has a number of MISSIONS including:
Each Mission offers a range of resources and ideas for individuals and organisations to address gender inequality across education, health, politics, art and the workplace. Offering ways to break down barriers women face every day, the IWD Missions also create important platforms for women to express their ideas, and tell their stories.
For UN Women, this year’s IWD theme and challenge is Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world. Celebrating the incredible efforts to create more gender equal societies by women and girls around the world, Women in Leadership also highlights the important role of women in leadership during the global pandemic.
Around the world, women in leadership are orchestrating effective and inclusive COVID-19 responses, from high-level decision-making through to frontline service delivery. “Women bring different experiences, perspectives and skills to the table,” writes UN Women Australia, “and make invaluable contributions to decisions, policies and laws that work better for all.”
“Advancing women in leadership is central to creating more profitable and productive economies, flourishing businesses and a healthier and more peaceful planet,” continues UN Women Australia. “There is a growing understanding and expectation that leadership in all facets of economic, political and social life must reflect communities; organisations miss out if 50% of the talent pool – women in all their diversity – is not around decision-making tables.”
According to Supriya Garikipati, Developmental Economist from Liverpool University, “…women leaders reacted more quickly and decisively in the face of potential fatalities” during the global pandemic in 2020. Garikipati goes on to say that, “[i]n almost all cases, they locked down earlier than male leaders in similar circumstances. While this may have longer-term economic implications, it has certainly helped these countries to save lives, as evidenced by the significantly lower number of deaths in these countries.”
In 2020, we outlined the WEPs, which were established by the UN Women and the UN Global Compact Office. A tool to help guide organisations on how to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community, we believe it is timely to revisit these highly recommended principles and actions that organisations can take to demonstrate their commitment to gender equality:
Support for this principle could be demonstrated by establishing organisational goals and targets. Consideration could also be given to including goals and targets in performance plans for managers of an organisation.
Actions could include offering flexible working arrangements and leave. Reviewing policies and practices to ensure they are inclusive could also foster an inclusive workplace culture.
A zero-tolerance policy against all forms of violence and harassment at work could be used to demonstrate support for this principle. Further, organisations could also acknowledge the right for all staff to have time off for medical care and counselling for themselves and their dependents.
Organisations could demonstrate support for this principle by ensuring equal access to and participation in internal education and training programmes. Training offerings about sexual harassment and unconscious bias could also be considered.
In support of this principle, organisations could leverage their procurement activities to ensure that their suppliers adopt policies and practices that support equality and are consistent with the WEPs.
The promotion and recognition of women’s leadership and contribution by ensuring their active participation in consultation processes, is a suggested action for support of this principle.
This principle could be supported by organisations benchmarking their achievements by collecting, analysing and using gender statistics to measure and report improvements over time.
At CourtHeath we are heartened that International Women’s Day has evolved to become more than just a day. We are a proud and public supporter of the WEPs since 2018 and a participant in the UN Global Compact.
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For more information about IWD 2021, visit International Woman’s Day 2021 theme.
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Image used under license from
By Wendy Cavenett, Dr. Julia Cornwell McKean and Pauline Bernard
IWD2021, gender equality, ChooseToChallenge