fundamental-rights-sista-IWD#InternationalWomensDay is a time to

  • challenge gender norms,

  • empower each other,

  • celebrate diversity,

  • break stereotypes,

  • reject the binary,

  • mobilize, and

  • take action.

It has been 25 years since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BDPA). The BDPA is a progressive roadmap for gender equality and 2020 is a pivotal year to look at how the world has been progressing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

It was hoped that this roadmap could be reviewed during the Commission Status of Women to be held in New York from 9-20 May, but unfortunately this event has been postponed due to the coronavirus.

Nevertheless, this has not stopped the movement for gender equality. As we approach International Women’s Day on March 8th, Vanuatu will be celebrating by asking “What are you doing to achieve gender equality?”

This call for action is in line with UN Women’s theme “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights.” This campaign calls for people of every gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion and country, to drive actions that will create the gender-equal world we all deserve.

This also reflects another international theme, which is #EachForEqual and explores how an equal world is an enabled world. The message behind the campaign explains that,

Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day.

We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements.

Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world.

Let’s all be #EachforEqual. How will you help forge a better world?”

So what is Vanuatu doing for International Women’s Day? 

The question really should be – What are YOU doing to achieve gender equality? To celebrate this dei blong ol woman, we are asking ‘Wanem now yufala save mekem blong yumi gat ekwality?

The Department of Women’s Affairs, UN Women, CARE International, Oxfam, World Vision, Human Capacity Development Int, Sista and AFL are asking communities, churches and family to make your own celebration on March 8th, dei blong ol woman. The Department of Women’s Affairs will be celebrating in every province.

What is International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.

International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.

#IWD2020 #EachforEqual #GenerationEquality

This article was originally published in the March edition of the Vanuatu Daily Post Life and Style magazine.