by Emily Kaplan, Mina’s List Communications Intern
Happy International Women’s Day Mina’s List followers! The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #PledgeForParity. Throughout the world, women contribute to the political, social, economic, and cultural advancement of humanity. But progress toward achieving equal and substantive representation for women in these arenas has slowed to a near glacial pace. In 2014, the World Economic Forum estimated gender parity would not be achieved until the end of the century, in 2095. Just last year, that estimate was reevaluated. Current estimations show that it will take until 2133 to close the gender gap, nearly 120 years from now. To us at Mina’s List, that is unacceptable!
Mina’s List is not alone in this view. The United Nations and UN Women are calling on national government’s to change the course and close the gender gap through their own International Women’s Day theme of “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality.” The year 2030 is the deadline for the implementation of the UN’s new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which focus on achieving gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls.
Reflecting on how to accelerate the 2030 agenda, UN Women’s Step It Up initiative actively builds momentum for the effective implementation of the new SDGs by encouraging countries to make stronger commitments to gender equality, women’s empowerment, and women’s human rights. The Step It Up initiative specifically calls on governments to make national commitments to close the gap in gender equality by 2030. More than 90 UN Member states have made concrete commitments “to crack some of the fundamental barriers to achievement of gender equality in their countries,” according to UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
At Mina’s List, we are hopeful these concrete commitments will become concrete actions. We fully believe in the power of women leaders, especially the Afghan women who so recently took part in the Empowerment Workshops for Mina’s List’s Afghan Pilot Project.
Though we believe in these women and the work they do, we know closing the gap in gender equality will not be accomplished without serious commitments from national and local government, current and future women leaders, and male allies worldwide. Mina’s List is hopeful UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s call to action today will be heeded: “Let us devote solid funding, courageous advocacy and unbending political will to achieving gender equality around the world. There is no greater investment in our common future.”