Today is International Women’s Day (IWD). It is a day to recognize and celebrate advancements while continuing to recognize the need for vigilance and action on issues impacting women and girls at home and abroad.
As we mark this day, we are thinking about the women and girls of Ukraine. Whether they are among the more than a million and a half refugees seeking safety in other countries, working under shelling as doctors and nurses or providing essential services, or engaging in battle, they are all feeling the devastating impact of war.
Canada’s theme for this IWD is “Women inspiring Women,” chosen to celebrate all the women and girls who inspire us by demonstrating leadership in the choices they make in their day-to-day lives to contribute to the social, economic, cultural and political spheres. Canadian women and girls are free to study and be leaders in fields they choose, care and provide for their family, express who they are, and fight for their beliefs.
For 2022, the United Nations is raising awareness about the vulnerability of women as compared to men when it comes to climate change. Women and girls make up the majority of the world’s poor and are more dependent on the natural resources which climate change threatens the most. The participation and leadership of women and girls in sustainability initiatives worldwide results in more effective climate action. “Without gender equality today, a sustainable future, and an equal future, remains beyond our reach.”
The UN marks other international days raising awareness and celebrating women and girls, including the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, which took place on February 11. These international days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity.