International Women's Day 2016

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International Womens Day 8th March 2016

08.03.2016 - 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.

The 2016 theme for International Women’s Day is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”. The idea of this theme is to consider how to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals, especially goal number five (achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls) and number 4 (ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning). 

Literacy International Womens Day

Some key targets of the 2030 Agenda:

  • Ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education.
  • Ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and preprimary education so that they are ready for primary education.
  • End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.
  • Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.
  • Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

Violence against Women International Womens Day

The theme will also focus on new commitments under UN Women’s Step It Up initiative.  The Step It Up initiative was launched on International Women's Day 2015 and asked governments to make national commitments to address the challenges that are holding women and girls back from reaching their full potential.

To date, ninety one world leaders have made concrete commitments and firm pledges to overcome gender equality gaps since the historic event co-hosted by UN Women and the People’s Republic of China, the “Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: A Commitment to Action” which was held at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 27 September 2015.

Politics International Womens Day

While the commitment of national governments to eliminate gender equality gaps is indicative of the progress in strengthening the role of, and rights of women in society, there is still a long way to go.

As part of her special message to mark International Women's Day, 8 March 2016, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka asserts that “the participation of women at all levels and the strengthening of the women’s movement has never been so critical, working together with boys and men, to empower nations, build stronger economies and healthier societies. It is the key to making Agenda 2030 transformational and inclusive.”

A sustainable world for all is only possible if women are treated as equals to men. Everyone has a role to play to make gender equality, and #Planet5050 a lived reality by 2030.


UNRICs Related Links

· International Women's Day 2016

· Step It Up: Planet 50-50 by 2030

· Sustainable Development Goals

Photo/Infographic Credits

UN Women