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IEU Speaks – International Women’s Day 2022

Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow’

There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” –Michelle Obama

When is International Women’s Day 2022?

International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated annually on March 8th, celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women everywhere. As the name suggests, international Women’s Day is celebrated all over the globe and is not country, group or organization specific.

How did International Women’s Day begin? 

The history of International Women’s Day reaches as far back as the early 20th Century. After years of debate and unrest surrounding equal rights, and the introduction of National Women’s Day in America in 1909, Clara Zetkin (Leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) proposed the idea of an international day for women at a conference in Copenhagen. Over 100 women from 17 countries unanimously agreed with the suggestion, and the first International Women’s Day was observed on the 19th March 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

What is the theme for International Women’s Day (IWD), 8 March, 2022 ?

Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, recognising the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all.

Women are increasingly being seen as more vulnerable than men to the impacts of climate change, mainly because they represent the majority of the world’s poor and are proportionally more dependent on threatened natural resources. The difference between men and women can also be seen in their differential roles, responsibilities, decision making, access to land and natural resources, opportunities and needs, which are held by both sexes. Worldwide, women have less access than men to resources such as land, credit, agricultural inputs, decision-making structures, technology, training and extension services that would enhance their capacity to adapt to climate change

Why is International Women’s Day important?

As well as celebrating the contributions of women globally to all areas of society, IWD is a chance to reflect on what still needs to be done to achieve equality.

Women and girls are effective and powerful leaders and change-makers for climate adaptation and mitigation. They are involved in sustainability initiatives around the world, and their participation and leadership results in more effective climate action. It is essential for sustainable development and greater gender equality that opportunities and constraints that empower women and girls to be equal players in decision making, are identified and examined. Without gender equality today, a sustainable future, and an equal future, remains beyond our reach.

Improving women’s adaptation to climate change.

Despite their vulnerability, women are not only seen as victims of climate change, but they can also be seen as active and effective agents and promoters of adaptation and mitigation.  For a long time, women have historically developed knowledge and skills that have passed from one generation to another, resulting in them contributing effectively, enhancing local adaptive capacity and sustaining a community’s livelihood.

To improve the adaptive capacity of women locally and worldwide IEU members call upon the Government and employers to

  • Adopt initiatives that identify and address gender-specific impacts of climate change, particularly those such as inequalities in access to resources, including credit, extension and training services, information and technology.
  • Actively address women’s priorities and needs in development planning and funding. Women should be part of the decision making at national and local levels regarding allocation of resources for climate change initiatives. It is also important to ensure gender-sensitive investments in programmes for adaptation, mitigation, technology transfer and capacity building.
  • Zealously involve women in the development of new technologies to ensure that they are adaptive, appropriate and sustainable. At national levels, efforts should be made to mainstream gender perspective into national policies and strategies, as well as related sustainable development and climate change plans and interventions.

        “When women support each other, incredible things happen.”