Happy International Women’s Day! In today’s world, achieving gender equality and ensuring the well-being of women is not just a matter of social justice but a crucial step towards building prosperous economies and a sustainable planet. However, amidst these aspirations lies a daunting challenge: the projected $360 billion annual deficit in gender equality measures by 2030. Now, let’s explore the urgency and necessity of investing in women to accelerate progress across various domains.

Investing in Women: Accelerate Progress

The Urgency of Gender-Responsive Financing: Prioritizing Women’s Needs in Government Spending*

The repercussions of underinvestment in gender equality are dire. If current trends persist, over 342 million women and girls could be pushed into extreme poverty by 2030. Governments must prioritize gender-responsive financing, increasing public spending on essential services and social protection to ensure the needs and priorities of women are met.

Recognizing Unpaid Care Work: Valuing Women’s Contribution to Economies Worldwide

Women’s contribution to economies through paid and unpaid care work should be noticed. Women spend significantly more time on unpaid care work than men, yet these activities often go unrecognized. If valued monetarily, unpaid care work would account for over 40 percent of GDP. Policymakers must acknowledge and account for this vital contribution to economic growth.

The Impact of Conflict and Climate Change: Women Bearing the Brunt

Conflict and climate change exacerbate existing inequalities, disproportionately affecting women. The number of women and girls living in conflict-affected areas has doubled since 2017, with women being 7.7 times more likely to live in extreme poverty in these regions. Additionally, climate change is set to leave 236 million more women and girls hungry by 2030. Addressing these challenges requires urgent action and investment in women’s empowerment.

Closing the Gender Employment Gap: Unlocking Economic Potential

At prime working age, only 61 percent of women are in the labour force compared to 90 percent of men. Closing this gender employment gap could significantly boost gross domestic product per capita across all regions. Investing in education, family planning, fair wages, and expanding social benefits could lift over 100 million women and girls out of poverty and create nearly 300 million jobs by 2035.

The Call for Action: Investing in Peace and Gender Equality

The UN Women have urged world leaders to prioritize investments in peace and gender equality. This International Women’s Day, the call to “Invest in Women, Accelerate Progress” rings louder than ever. Concrete actions are needed to back commitments to gender equality with resources, including financing women’s empowerment initiatives and feminist organizations. Joint action is essential across five key areas:

Investing in Women, a Human Rights Issue: Gender equality is a fundamental human rights challenge that demands urgent attention and action.

Ending Poverty: Immediate measures are necessary to prevent millions of women and girls from falling into poverty by 2030.

Implementing Gender-Responsive Financing: Governments must prioritize women’s needs in public spending to mitigate the adverse effects of conflicts and economic downturns.

Shifting to a Green Economy and Care Society: Advocates propose transitioning to a green economy and prioritizing care work to amplify women’s voices and address systemic inequalities.

Supporting Feminist Change Makers: Despite their pivotal role, feminist organizations receive minimal funding. Supporting these organizations is crucial for driving meaningful change and advancing gender equality globally.

International Women’s Day 2024

As we mark International Women’s Day, let’s reaffirm our commitment to investing in women and accelerating progress towards gender equality. By prioritizing women’s needs, empowering them economically and socially, and supporting feminist initiatives, we can create a more equitable and prosperous future for all. It’s time to turn challenges into opportunities and shape a better world for generations.

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