To celebrate International Women’s Day (which obviously should be celebrated 365 days, 24/7), I would like to share the post my friend Antoine-Olivier shared on his work intrnet today. As a UN employee, Antoine is also extremely well committed withthe UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS/UN Women Copenhagen Staff Association, and his words are powerful.
A big thank you to him for allowing me to share here.
Text: Antoine-Olivier Raymond
Graphic: Amaia Quesada and Bente Iselin Madson
Source: UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS/UN Women Copenhagen Staff Association
UN-related statistics: https://blog.impactpool.org/articles/are-women-paying-a-higher-price-for-a-un-career
Today, people around the world come together to mark International Women’s Day.
Not only is this day an opportunity to celebrate women’s achievements and highlight big and small contributions towards achieving gender equality, but it also serves as a reminder that there is still a lot of work to be done to make this equality a reality.
The pay gap, lack of female representation, unequal distribution of child care activities and gender stereotypes are just a few aspects that require even greater individual and collective efforts. _
Did you know?
In Denmark, the arrival of children creates a gender gap in earnings of around 20% in the long run. _
Achieving gender equality and parity is much more than a numbers game. It requires a shift in mentalities, a cultural change to better challenge bias against women and men, as well as concrete policy reforms.
Traditional perceptions of women as caregivers and homemakers continue to adversely impact their participation in the workforce; gender stereotypes continue to lead to discrimination; and even language habits continue to depict women as more vulnerable than men.
As important as it is, women's empowerment risks becoming a flavour of the month more than an actual commitment. Women must be empowered through better access to education. Women must be empowered economically. Women must be empowered politically. Women’s voice must be heard! _
Did you know?
Men in the UN have a 50% better chance of becoming a P5 than their female colleagues, and are 6 times more likely to become a D1. _
Behind the veil of these recurring themes, we tend to forget that this power, this voice, women already have. What women need more than anything is an equal opportunity to make use of that power, and an equal space to raise that voice loud and clear in a world that is still male dominated.
So how can you help?
Challenge stereotypes and bias. Speak up if you are victim of inappropriate behaviour, or if you witness such behaviour. Remind policy makers of the urgency of making policies more gender inclusive. Celebrate women’s achievements.
Finally, and most importantly, act as a role model by treating everyone equally!